English tenor turns to drawing blood

English tenor turns to drawing blood


norman lebrecht

August 12, 2020

The outstanding opera tenor Peter Hoare spoke on the BBC’s Today programme about how he became a phlebotomist after his engagements collapsed during Covid.

‘A friend in the NHS said we’re desperate for phlebotomists and swabbers,’ he said, ‘so I went for an audition, sorry interview…’

Peter hoare has sung two roles at the Met and several significant UK premieres.

Listen to the interview here at 02.26


  • Bruce says:

    Just FYI, 2:26 means 2 hours 26 minutes

  • Dennis Pastrami says:

    What a fortuitous turn of events for Peter. A wonderful talent, and using his time to help others in need – we need more people like this during this devastating and terrifying pandemic.

    • Buddy Guy says:

      His involvment in this endeavor brings him in contact with other individuals. This is irresponsible and he should rethink his choices. I am appalled at the behavior of so many people who act selfishly without the thought of aerosol transmission (46.5 mph for singers). You should not encourage this, even online Mr. Pastrami

      • Anon. says:

        I don’t think he is singing as he works! It is nice to see people helping others during this pandemic. What have you done, for the greater good to help others?

      • Paul Dawson says:

        Is there some irony in your comment which is evading me? A singer with unplanned spare time stepping into fulfill a vitally needed NHS function is behaving irresponsibly?

      • Dennis Pastrami says:

        Typical trolling from another peanut gallery ‘phleb’. You need a better hobby, Mr. Guy.

        Your negative attitude is NOT appropriate HERE.

      • Thom Ranch says:

        Shame on you “buddy guy”

      • Peter Hoare says:

        Listen Mr Guy, It’s hard enough to sing without a mask let alone with the brass diving helmet they force me to wear whilst drawing blood. “Just to be on the safe side” they said. It smells of fish and weighs a bloody ton.

    • Chunch Beezley says:

      Godbless your soul

    • Realist says:

      Well, I am afraid that seeing this situation as a case of someone “using his time to help others in need” is to sugarcoat things. We are not talking about a charity initiative here. The only reason he took this job is because he needs to put food on his family’s table while his working schedule as an opera singer was simply wiped out by this pandemic and its nasty consequences. As much as he is indeed helping many people and is doing his best in this (hopefully!) temporary position… This is actually a sad, sad story. I truly hope that the opera world gets back to normal sooner than we expect, so that no singer of this level has to depend on temporary occupations that have nothing to do with their true profession.

  • Pick Koacher says:

    Good. Covid should be taken as it is: a global death threat. Maybe it should be declared a terrorist organization for people to finally take it seriously.

  • Schoenberglover says:

    Oh wow a great singer & now probably a lot better at drawing blood than medical students like me! Remember fantastic performances from him as Piet the Pot in Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre, in Janacek’s From The House of The Dead in Covent Garden and a last minute jump in one of the cameo roles in Verdi’s Falstaff a few years ago!

  • Bruce says:

    As a musician and health care worker, I’ve got to say health care is a great complement. It has many of the same ingredients that performing has: connecting with people on a personal level (however brief or businesslike it may be), holding yourself to a high standard of professionalism, knowing that you have helped someone in an empirical way (not just hoping you made somebody in the audience feel better somehow, but showing someone how they actually can get out of bed and walk the day after spinal surgery). Even if you’re just a “lowly” home care worker, you’re performing tasks that people need help with; and these are people who probably couldn’t make it out of the house to come to your concert anyway. Doing blood draws and nasal swabs is important work, especially at a time when a lot of people need blood draws and nasal swabs.

    And most health-care jobs are considered essential, so they haven’t shut down during the crisis — and they’re not out-source-able. That’s important for those of us who need to earn money.

    The rewards are similar, the money is more reliable, and you’re helping people. It’s a win-win-win, really.

    • Peter Hoare says:

      The rewards are in no way similar. Clinicians and care workers both are astoundingly underpaid for the responsibilities they bear.

  • Sharon says:

    As a nurse I agree with Bruce. I’m glad that he has the money (or maybe in England there’s assistance for this) to get the training to repurpose himself.