Sydney Opera House

Steering clear of Wotan's wrath


The Operative Word with Stephen Bennett

Stephen Bennett performs the role of Leporello in Don Giovanni at the Arts Centre, Melbourne from 2 - 17 December 2012: Click here for more information and tickets


Why do you do the job that you do? I fell in love with opera when I was in my late teens, and lived in the hope that I could one day become a principal singer.

Who has influenced you most professionally? Samuel Ramey, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Cesare Siepi were major influences on me.

Is there any other profession that you would have liked to have followed? I’ve always had a passion for photography.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Spending time at home with my family.

If you could have dinner with a historical figure, who would it be? J.S. Bach.

What is your greatest extravagance? Books.

One thing you regret is… That I don’t play jazz guitar very well.

If you could have any opera character as a friend, who would it be? Wotan. You can’t go wrong being buddies with the God of Gods.

Who or what is the love of your life? My wife Scarlet.

What are you optimistic about? My children’s future prospects.

You would like to devote more time to… Woodworking.

What is your favourite food? Indian.

What is your most treasured possession? My Gibson jazz guitar.

Which is the opera that got you hooked? Aida

Which opera do you never need to hear again? La fille du régiment.

If there’s one quote that really speaks to you it’s…“I’ve always wanted to go to Switzerland to see what the army does with all those wee red knives.” Billy Connolly.

What is your idea of misery? Being away from home for an extended period.

You still hope to… Make fine wooden furniture and hold a photographic exhibition.

Which characteristics do you most admire in others? Honesty, compassion and loyalty.

You feel guilty when you think about… Wasted time.

What type of holiday do you most enjoy? Seaside or amongst the mountains.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I’d like a fine head of hair again.

Who is your favourite band? The Mothers of Invention.

You spend too much money on… Photographic equipment.

Your greatest achievement has been... Singing the role of Don Giovanni.

The book everyone loved but you could not finish was...The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.

What is your favourite kitchen appliance? Microwave oven.

How do you stay up to date with new technology and trends? Talk to friends who are in the know.

Who is your favourite heartthrob? My wife.