The Only Way is Up: Reflections on a Life in Opera

Sir Donald McIntyre


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In this fascinating memoir “Sir Don” looks back over a huge slice of operatic history and his role in it. Mixing fun and gossip with judgement and insight, he brings to life a teeming gallery of the world’s most famous musicians – singers, conductors, directors, teachers, designers, sponsors … all the movers and shakers in the opera world of two generations. Edited by music professor and well-known New Zealand Wagnerian, Heath Lees, this book is a fitting monument to Sir Donald’s magnificent half century in opera.

Additional information

Weight 0.9 kg
Dimensions 17 × 24 cm

About the Author

Until the age of twenty, Donald McIntyre hoped to play for the All Blacks, and was on his way to achieving that aim. As a young man, however, he acknowledged his exceptional voice and opted for a career in singing.

After leaving New Zealand and arriving in London, McIntyre set his sights on the world of opera. His spectacular musical life saw him conquering the stages of two London companies in the 1960s and 70s: Sadler’s Wells and ROH Covent Garden. His increasing command of Wagner roles brought him to the notice of Richard Wagner’s grandson Wolfgang Wagner, and in 1967 he made his debut appearance in Lohengrin.

For the next seventeen years he sang in every Festival cycle and became the first “British” musician to sing the role of Wotan in Wagner’s mighty, four-opera Ring.

Recognised for nearly three decades as the definitive Flying Dutchman, McIntyre also starred in the Bayreuth Centennial Ring in a production by Patrice Chéreau that completely revolutionised Wagner opera, and shot him to lasting fame, and in 1992, a knighthood.

Look Inside

To look inside the book, click on the link below:

The Only Way is Up: Reflections on a Life in Opera by Sir Donald McIntyre


ISBN: 9780995105331

Pages: 240

Format: Hardback

Author: Sir Donald McIntyre

Published: 19 May 2019