Bryn Terfel interview: Britain's best-loved baritone looks back on his 'wonderful journey' through the world's greatest operas


Gods. Murderers. Dictators. Ghosts. Bryn Terfel is used to playing them all, and more. The towering bass-baritone from north Wales, who turns 50 this year, is probably the best-loved figure in British opera today: gigantic in stature and personality, with a booming voice that is effortlessly flexible and expressive even when speaking, never mind singing. So huge a presence is he that it is almost startling to find him arriving for a rehearsal of Wagner's Der Fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman) at the Royal Opera House on as modest a contraption as a bicycle.

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