Dame Janet at her doughtiest

In the last of the present series of the Lebrecht Interview I am talking to Dame Janet Baker, a singer who used to chill rehearsal rooms with the massive authority that she brought to every role and concert she undertook.

There was some trepidation among my colleagues about me interrogating the daunting Dame, but almost from the moment we shook hands in studio we both started having the time of our lives.

I tried to persuade Dame Janet to pursue the roots of her sense of responsibility in the events of her childhood. What emerged was a series of memories that brought us startlingly close to the forces that motivate her.

The Lebrecht Interview is tomorrow on BBC Radio 3 at 10.15 pm, after the Prom, and streamed online for a week.

Norman Lebrecht

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  • I’m looking forward to the conversation with the much admired Dame Baker. Your comment refers to the ongoing, unfortunate gendered condition, whereby women who stand their ground are still seen as odd samples of the human race, whereas such men are considered to be exemplary citizens and workers.

    Your colleagues seem to think you belong to that club, too. We’ll see…

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