A good pupil-teacher relationship has to be built up over time. I can't see the value of someone coming into the room for a few minutes and saying, Look, you're doing this wrong.
I know many people find Wagner boring, and I'm no different, but by not being pretentious I hope to make it accessible.
It was imperative when I started my training to have a teacher who would really look after whatever talent I had as a youngster.
For the last ten years my only teacher has been Rudolf Pierne. He is a superb pianist, conductor, linguist and a great singing teacher. He knows my voice and has looked after its development.
I think every singer should be able to jump in for a singer who has been sick, for instance, and learn an opera in two days. I know people who can do it.
I enjoy all aspects of singing and I'm luckily given the choice to be part of different styles of music.
Some people disapprove of crossover, but who cares?
I started preparing Wolfram long ago because there was practically no stage time and no rehearsals at the Met, just a week. Luckily I'm a quick learner.
I work on my voice through what I have to sing.
People think top singers are overpaid, but opera houses have a top fee, which is a good thing. Of course concerts are different- everyone wants to make as much money as possible.
If you have a recital to do, you have to memorize the songs. I never use music when I do recitals. It produces an instant barrier, both for yourself and the audience.