|John Bolton Wood as Benoit in La boheme|
|John Bolton Wood|
Why do you do the job that you do? I have the voice to sing opera, which I love, and the ability to entertain, which is my passion.
Who has influenced you most professionally? The late Max Speed was the crucial influence in my life; he taught me voice production, which equipped me with the ability to sing the music I love.
Is there any other profession that you would have liked to have followed? The stage has been my lifelong passion; I could perhaps also have embraced teaching, especially English and History.
What is your idea of perfect happiness? To be inspired by the music of great composers and to appreciate their genius.
If you could have dinner with a historical figure, who would it be? Sir John Monash – he had extraordinary abilities as a military leader, was an engineer of great accomplishment and a great lover of opera and theatre. He was also a great Australian.
What is your greatest extravagance? Motor cars. I love driving a well-made car.
|John Bolton Wood as Dr Bartolo with|
Michael Martin as Count Almaviva in
The Barber of Seville 2004
One thing you regret is… Being unable to give awards to all the young people who compete in singing competitions where I have adjudicated.
If you could have any opera character as a friend, who would it be, and why? Padre Guardiano in La forza del destino, as he embodies compassion, knowledge, understanding and wisdom. I’d be proud to have him as a friend and mentor.
Who or what is the love of your life? Opera. It has dictated my every move.
What are you optimistic about? The future of opera in Australia. With young people doing so well, I am certain Australia will become a world centre of opera to which people will come from all parts of the world.
You would like to devote more time to… Mentoring and teaching the younger generation of performers what has been taught to me and what I have gained from practical experience.
What is your favourite food? Chicken roast with baked potatoes, two veg and some ice cream and fruit to follow.
What is your most treasured possession? My pictures of my parents and sister and a signed picture of Enrico Caruso.
|John Bolton Wood as Major General Stanley|
in The Pirates of Penzance 2006
Which is the opera that got you hooked? Faust, performed by a visiting Italian company in 1956. It was my first opera and an inspiring experience that opened the world of opera and singing to me.
Which opera do you never need to hear again? There are many operas that are not close to my heart, but none that I would not want to hear again.
If there’s one quote that really speaks to you it’s… One from my father: The truth never has to be established, it establishes itself and all you need is the patience to allow that to happen.
What is your idea of misery? Being unable to hear the music and singing I love.
You still hope to… For as long as I am drawing breath to be of service to the profession I love.
Which characteristics do you most admire in others? I admire people who work hard to achieve something that is worthwhile; I admire honesty in performers.
You feel guilty when you think about… I feel guilty when for some reason I have been unable to do my best for the audience.
What type of holiday do you most enjoy? Any holiday that allows me to leave my music behind; it is good to relax completely and re-energise.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I would like to be taller so that I could stand still, hold a sword and sing an aria. As a short fatty and character artist, I am always on the move.
|John Bolton Wood as Judge Turpin in|
Sweeney Todd 2007
Who is your favourite band? No favourites; I respect all musicians for their ability and achievement.
You spend too much money on… Books and recordings; I have 65 boxes of them in storage.
Your greatest achievement has been… Being the son of the most wonderfully supportive parents a man could have, and being able to fulfil the faith they had in me.
The book everyone loved but you could not finish was... The Bible. It is a very long work and demands concentration and understanding. I mostly find a chapter, a page or a verse can be sufficient to nourish my mind.
What is your favourite kitchen appliance? My Crock-Pot. I chop up the ingredients in the morning, put them in the pot and a good meal awaits me when I get home from rehearsal.
How do you stay up to date with new technology and trends? By listening to younger people and not thinking that there is nothing more for me to learn.
Who is your favourite heartthrob? Enrico Caruso.
John Bolton Wood stars as Benoit in La bohème, showing on New Year's Eve and continuing its summer season presentation from 5 January 2013.