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Company Profile: Reno Troilus, singer

What do you love about working in opera?

I love that each new production gives the cast and crew a chance to re-invent a well-known opera. The whole process of creating a character's journey that fits within a larger story is very important to me. I think most singers feel that bringing the text to life is more important than just showing off the voice...

 

If you weren't an opera singer, what would be your ideal profession?

My wife and I always joke about opening a bed and breakfast when the kids leave home in 15 years or so. Who knows...

 

What do you do when you're not singing?

I spend as much time with my wife and children as possible, so family outings to wildlife parks or “Landmark”, or other things that run the energy out of the kids! I'm also the Chairman of the Inverness Music Festival, a voluntary position to keep the arts active in the north with their annual cultural event. Even though it feels like another job, it's very rewarding!

 

What has been your favourite role to date? Are there any still on your wish list that you would like to sing?

My favourite role is definitely the one I'm working on right now, Unulfo in Rodelinda. He is such a sensitive, endearing character that has a moral grounding unmatched by the other roles. He gets a raw deal for quite a bit of this production, but I think the audience will root for him as he weaves things into balance.

 

My bucket list of roles still to sing is extensive, but I'd quite like to sing Farnace in Mozart's 'Mitridate, re di ponto'. It's another challenging role, but this time, a character with questionable morals and an unquenchable thirst for power.

 

What are you listening to at the moment?

I am currently making my way through Vivaldi concertos, the last one I had on was the Recorder Concerto in C minor. This was a refreshing and pleasant change from the usual works I listen to, as the recorder was not on my Vivaldi 'play list'. The delicate sounding instrument is capable of not only great agility, but melancholic qualities that I find rather moving.

 

What 3 things might people be surprised to learn about you?

  • When my teacher at the RCS told me that I was a countertenor, it took a fair bit of convincing before I accepted the change from singing tenor (badly). My reaction to singing the alto range for a living seemed like a very odd thing for a man to do, and I hadn't met or heard any countertenors at that stage.
  • I met my wife when playing Oberon in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream. She was Titania...
  • I own a motorbike, a Honda CBR 600F!

 

Where is your favourite place to be in the world?
At home in the Highlands. It became my favourite place when I was last working with Scottish Opera in 2008 and they took their production to Inverness. My wife and I were due to move to Italy a few months later, but fell in love with the local surroundings and we now have a permanent residence up north.