It is an absolute honour for me to announce that my next interviewee is the phenomenal talent that is Geronimo Rauch.
After training in his native Argentina, Geronimo’s array of theatre credits include Mary Sunshine in “Chicago“, Jesus in “Jesus Christ Superstar” (Spain and Argentina), Doody in “Grease“, and most recently, he has just finished a near 3 year run as Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables“, both in Spain and at London’s Queens Theatre.
Geronimo has now taken up the epic challenge of becoming “The Phantom” in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s legendary production of “The Phantom of the Opera” at Her Majesty’s Theatre.
Despite his extremely busy schedule, I considered it an absolute honour that Geronimo – who is one of my favourite West End performers – was able to sit down and answer my questions about Les Miserables, facing challenges, Miss Saigon, and the freedom wearing a certain, very famous Mask can bring . . .
Tell us a little known fact about yourself – something we wouldn’t know by looking at you
That I usually don’t know what would be an interesting answer to this question. 🙂
Who or what inspired you to get into the Theatre Industry?
It was definitely the 10th Aniversary concert of Les Miserables and especially Colm Wilkinson and Lea Salonga. Then I started researching and I could say that Anthony Warlow was an inspiration.
What has been the biggest highlight of your career so far? And what has been the biggest obstacle you have faced?
There has been many life changing moments in my life as a performer. But I could definitely say that my first show as Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar – Spain and my first performance as Valjean in the West End.
The biggest obstacle was after we dissolved my band Mambru and I couldn’t get any work opportunities in Argentina.
If you had to choose any 3 songs from any genre as the soundtrack to your life so far, what would they be and why?
The first time I heard Bohemian Rhapsody, I couldn’t really understand what sort of transformation I was going through. Then I realised that I was destined to become an artist because of that song.
“Honrar La Vida” from Eladia Blazquez is an amazing song and “Hey Jude” by The Beatles because I remember my father singing it.
If you could play any role, be it play or musical, past or present, what would be your dream role to play and why?
There are a few on my list: – Jekyll and Hyde, Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar, and John in Miss Saigon (I’ve always wanted to sing Bui Doi!)
VIDEO: Watch Geronimo perform the enchanting “Till I Hear You Sing” from Love Never Dies – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ba83yLD3NWI
You are probably best known for your stunning performance as Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables”, both in London and in Spain. What were the biggest things you learnt from your experience in such a legendary production?
I learnt how to do 8 shows a week, how to train and prepare for the challenge every day. I learnt a lot from my colleagues and directors. The most important thing is that I made amazing friends.
Speaking of legendary productions, you have recently taken on the role of The Phantom in “The Phantom of the Opera.” What new challenges has this role presented to you that you have not faced before?
Valjean had many things that I could see reflected from my own personality. The amazing thing about the Phantom is that I put on my mask and I’m a different person so I can go on stage and play. It’s a total joy and my feelings and performances change every night.
The biggest challenge is to sing “Music of the Night.” I never thought that song could be so hard to perform. It´s not only about the music, its about the words and the connection between Christine and the Phantom. Thank God I have two amazing Christines (Harriet Jones and Olivia Brereton) that make my life easier.
Do you have a favourite moment in the show? Or maybe a particular song that you love to perform?
Definitely The Point of No Return! It has tango, passion and it’s lovely to sing.
What would you say makes your Phantom different from those who have worn the mask previously?
I don´t know. Let’s ask the audience this question! Ha ha ha ha!
If you could give one piece of advice to your 13 year old self – what would you say?
I started this career very late and ignored my vocation when I was a child. But I could definitely say STUDY, prepare yourself and also study an instrument! (I’m a very bad musician ha ha ha!)
I have to say – having seen Geronimo perform as the Phantom live and in person, that it was one of the most spectacular performances that I have ever seen in my favourite show. He performs the role with such passion, power and beauty that his mind-blowing talent must be seen by everyone – and I’m not ashamed to say I cried like a baby! Read more of my thoughts on Geronimo and the rest of the new cast of Phantom of the Opera at http://www.westendframe.com/2013/11/guest-blog-new-casts-at-les-mis-and.html
You can also follow Geronimo on Twitter @geronimorauch, or over on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Geronimo-Rauch/39976406687
For more details on Phantom of the Opera, as well as information on tickets, check out http://www.thephantomoftheopera.com/london
I must say thank you to Geronimo for taking time out of his ridiculously busy schedule to answer my questions – it has been an absolute dream for me to interview one of my favourite performers and I can only hope Geronimo and his phenomenal talent continues to light up the Theatre World for many years to come.
Signing off for now,
Blue Eyed Girl Xxx