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Profile: Nicholas Ransley, singer

What 3 things might people be surprised to learn about you?
When I was a year old I went to Malta and punched an Alsatian (dog) on the nose.
In the late eighties I fronted a rock band called Until We Sleep (you can find a clip on Youtube if you’d like to see Nick in action...)
I'm adopted and when I was 23 I met my birth mother. She became good friends with my mum and dad.


What do you like to do when you're not singing?
My friends and family are dotted all over the place so I like to spend time with them when I can. I love travelling and visiting places I've never been.


If you weren't an opera singer, what would be your ideal profession?
Probably an actor, though I often think if I hadn't followed a career in the arts, I'd like to have worked with young people from troubled backgrounds.


What do you love about opera?
In opera I'm doing the two things I love most - singing and acting.


Do you have any memorable experiences while performing that you would like to share?
The most bizarre experience was when I was touring Carmen in the USA and we were in Kansas. I'd just laid down next to Carmen at the beginning of act three when a bunch of nutcases burst into the backstage area screaming homophobic abuse at all of us! They then quite generously handed around some pamphlets for us to read.

Where is your favourite place in the world to be?
I haven't been there yet but it's somewhere in the future and involves my partner Helen, our numerous children and me sailing around the Caribbean playing pirates.


What has been your favourite role to sing? Are there any still on your 'wishlist' that you would like to do?
My favourite role to sing is Don Jose. He goes on a turbulent journey and I find it very interesting the different ways you can map out his deterioration. There are many sides to him and some great opportunities to really explode! It's a hugely satisfying role to perform. I would love to sing some of the Benjamin Britten roles - great theatrical creations. I'd like to perform Albert Herring again but think I'm getting a bit too old now to make a convincing virgin 'May King'!