From a Slipped Disc reader:
Sir Mark Elder may have made his debuts as both an actor and singer at the Royal Festival Hall last night. While conducting the belated UK premiere of Offenbach’s operetta Fantasio, Elder played the brief cameo spoken role of Le Tailleur, then sang that of Le Monsieur qui Passe.
The only known precedent, from the same podium a few years ago, was when Jose Cura both sang and conducted an entire concert, thus spending most of it with his back to the orchestra. Sir Mark, described later by Irish baritone Gavan Ring, who sang the role of Hartmann, as “a Mensch”, spared us that spectacle by momentarily turning sideways.
photo (c) Laurie Lewis/Lebrecht Music&Arts
Sir Mark is music director of the Halle Orchestra in Manchester.