Interview with Ailish Tynan

Soprano Ailish Tynan shares her experience of recording our new CD: Mozart’s Il re pastore.

What’s Il re pastore like?

It’s a beautiful opera and it’s got it all. The beginning is really pastoral – there’s a fresh, simplistic joy in the music and in the relationship between Aminta and Elisa. You can almost feel the fresh country air and uncomplicated way of life in these first few numbers. I particularly like the escapism that can be achieved listening to this first part of the disc, as living in a hectic city like London this feels like an oasis. And then of course we get the drama, the torment, the uncertainty and the final joyous reunion, all the ingredients that no opera could live without, and of course Mozart times it all to complete perfection.

How does the role of Elisa compare with other Mozart roles you’ve sung?

It’s actually surprisingly trickier than other Mozart opera roles I’ve sung. The runs don’t quite go exactly where you’re expecting them to go and they are just a tiny bit longer than sits totally comfortably with the breath, but I LOVE a challenge and was delighted to be able to relish this one. With plenty of practice and just the right tempo from Ian this all came together beautifully in the recording.

What was the recording process like?

It was great fun! I love recording, as you don’t have to worry about anything except creating your best interpretation of this wonderful music. You’re not worrying about staging, your hair, your make up, pulling an ugly face to make your most beautiful sound … You can just focus 100% on the music, and that to me is about as close to a music-making version of heaven as I can get. Ian always assembles musicians of the highest calibre (who incidentally are lovely people) for these recordings, so the entire process is just a joy. We recorded this in the beautiful venue of St John’s Smith Square, and that too adds to the environment for everyone to produce their best work.