If ever there was a vocational singer, it was Matthias Goerne. Born in 1967 in Weimar, the German bass-baritone enjoys a reputation today as the finest Lieder singer of his generation, but he was sure of his life path at a remarkably early age. “I remember when I was asked by friends and family what I wanted to do, quite early on I said that I wanted to become a singer. I was maybe nine years old,” he confesses over the phone, admitting that it was an unusual ambition for a child. “Of course, what you say when you’re nine or ten doesn’t always come true,” he admits, “but I was in a choir organised by the theatre where my father was a director and for ten years I sang there in productions that needed a children’s choir, like La Bohèmeor Carmen.”

Firmly smitten with the music bug, a period of study followed where for two years his vocal teacher was Hans-Joachim Beyer, but his preternatural talent for German song was spotted pretty quickly and opportunities arose to work with two of the greatest Lieder singers of the previous...

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