Rock Star Meat Loaf may not seem like the obvious choice for a critic on ITV’s Popstar To Opera Star, but it turns out that The Bat Out Of Hell singer has a strong background in the area.
Meat Loaf was ecruited as a schoolboy to appear in a New York production of Carmen and he instantly fell in love with the world. “Opera people so rocked. They were unbelievably wild. I’ve never been to parties like that since – my eyes are still hanging out! Opera people might say, ‘we don’t do that sort of thing’. But they should not try to deny it – they do!”
After singing a ditty in a Central Park production of As You Like It, he was spotted and invited to train as an opera singer and appear at The Met, in New York. Meat Loaf takes up the story. “I talked to a lot of people in classical music, and I found out that unless you’re a Pavarotti or a Domingo, the conductor is in total control. I thought, ‘if I do that, I’ll wind up in prison. I may not kill the conductor, but I’ll certainly put him in hospital!’ I’ve always had that attitude – ‘don’t screw with me!’ So I turned them down.” Instead, he went into acting and pop singing – and the rest is rock history.
His love of music should make Meat Loaf a compelling critic. “I’m very passionate about this project. I get a buzz from all music – except jazz! Opera is so important in our lives – anything that moves us is important in our lives. Anything that gives us access to such high emotions has got to be massively significant.
“I’ve got a painting in my house which I love. It’s a picture of a dirt road in the California hills. Every time I look at it, I think, ‘I wonder where that goes?’ Music has the same effect – if you don’t wonder where it’s going, then it’s no good. In opera, there is always another side. Some people might think opera is over the top, but if you don’t go over the top, how are you going to know what’s on the other side?”
Meat Loaf concludes by underlining his passion for the art-from. “I love opera. It’s so exciting. If you put opera on when you drive, you can all too easily get a speeding ticket!”