In addition to his consummate music making (Mozart and Haydn Symphonies…Mozart Piano Concertos with Mitsuko Uchida), Jeffrey Tate had a story.
Trained as a physician, while also making music, he developed a bedside manner devoted to his patient’s medical needs, their frailties and fears, their frustrations and their questions, rage and depression.
That same medical bedside manner had direct applications to his role working with singers, as the accompanist with various operatic institutions.
Singers are the most vulnerable of performers, he said. Totally exposed, they’re out on stage, “naked,” and all alone.
Almost in crisis?
“Yes, a singer alone on stage is always in a “crisis situation.”
That bedside manner led him to feel and understand the fears and vulnerability felt by many singers, and that connection brought out the best of the singers he worked with on a daily basis.
Jeffrey Tate was also physically handicapped. Spina bifida.
He had limited body movement. He required a cane, conducted from a stool and required the daily help of a “dresser.”
His physical limitations connected him to the pain and suffering of others – not just singers.
As a performer, you may think you have nothing in common with the life and times of Jeffrey Tate.
Except, like Jeffrey Tate, you too have a story. What is that story that will bring your audience closer to you?
As a classical music announcer, you can tell Jeffrey Tate’s story when you introduce one of his performances.
Do you think that story will draw your listeners in to him, his performances and connect them to your strengths as an announcer and communicator?
I think so.
RIP: Sir Jeffrey Tate (1943 -2017)