24.7 C
Monday, May 25, 2020

Phoebe Haines: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

20 questions with mezzo soprano Phoebe Haines


The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force?

My family and friends.


“Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours?

“If you ask me what I came into this world to do, I will tell you I came to live out loud” (Emile Zola) or “The bigger the hair the closer to God” (Dolly Parton).


Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2014?

Probably lighting a cigarette off of a ceramic hob (à la Katona circa 2007).


Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life?

Being a toddler running around in the nude.


What might you swap all your wealth for?

The guarantee that I will be able to stage my own ultra-kitsch production of Carmen when I am 70. I would use an assembled cast of historic opera singers of old along with a motley crew of other living people.


Donald Trump was once a case of: “If you owe the bank a thousand, they close you down; but if you owe the bank a billion, you own the bank”. What’s your view on the banking crisis?

Trump owns casinos, right? So, he’s probably richer right now than some of the people who used to work in casino banking. It’s an odd term actually. The house would never lend you credit when you’re down at the poker table as they’re not that stupid. Trust me, they can spot a loser but the banks on the other hand, they used to love you writing cheques that you couldn’t cash.


What phrase or word do you most loathe?

“Basically” (though I basically say it all the time).


In the UK, some people consider charity to “begin at home”. What’s your view and what causes do you personally support?

Absolutely: Charity begins at home. If more people looked after their nearest and dearest we wouldn’t need as much organized help to sort them out. The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund is a cause that is close to my heart.


The judge in Law Abiding Citizen states: “I can pretty much do whatever I want” before being blown up whilst answering her mobile phone. What’s your view on the appropriate use of such devices?

Hmm the Albert Einstein quotation about technology springs to mind: I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. “The world will have a generation of idiots”. We probably need to just spend a lot more quality time actually socialising with the people whose company we enjoy, rather than masterminding the best possible ways to publicise said interaction on ‘social’ networking.


Phoebe Haines
Phoebe Haines

If you could fill a carriage on The Orient Express, who would be your fellow passengers?

If you’re on The Orient Express without Hercule Poirot that’s a missed opportunity… Other than him, I would cordially request the company of my six very best girlfriends.


If you were unfortunate enough to end up on death row, what would be your last meal and where would you eat it?

Atop something high like the Christ the Redeemer in Rio or somewhere by the sea, entirely alone, eating steak frites.


What time is it acceptable to consume the first drink of the day?

Well, you can figure that it’s always going to be 5pm somewhere in the world, right? Having said that, see the question below…


A Negroni, a martini or a cup of tea?



Whose parties do you enjoy the most and why?

Ones that last all night on a beach, with driftwood and a fire and a really good guitarist.


Who is the most positive person you know?

My friend Martha because she is both the wisest and youngest soul I know and I love her dearly for that. And of course my gorgeous partner Gerard, who is always able to make me see the sunny side of things whenever I’m in a rut.


What’s your most guilty pleasure?

Eating Ambrosia rice pudding out of a giant tin with a spoon.


If a tattoo were to sum you up, what would it be of?



If you were a car, what marque would you be?

I feel like one of those dodgy Robin Reliant things off Only Fools and Horses most of the time (though ideally I should say I’d like to be some sort of black Porsche I imagine).


Cilla Black presented Surprise, Surprise. Tell us the most surprising thing about you.

I recently got quite weirdly and involuntarily starstruck on seeing Cilla Black.


What’s currently sitting on your mantelpiece?

A 2014 Metropolitan Opera calendar.


Mezzo soprano Phoebe Haines is a highly regarded singer. She won The International Opera Awards Foundation Grant 2013/2014 and has been awarded the Salzburger Festspile Young Artist and Britten Pears Young Artist awards in 2014.


Follow Phoebe Haines on Twitter @PhoebeHaines.



Subscribe to our free once daily email newsletter here:[wysija_form id=”1″]




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Could Mark Alexander be Innocent?

With humanitarian Terry Waite questioning the safety of the conviction of Mark Alexander for murdering his conman father Samuel, is it time that this curious case was reviewed?

Distraction Dom

Matthew Steeples suggests devious Dominic Cummings might actually be the best asset bungling Boris Johnson has got left; the king of distraction has made Jennifer Arcuri go away.

A Box Office Balls-up

Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea council’s decision to approve replacement for Kensington Odeon with a 63% smaller cinema is deservedly condemned as a “box office balls-up.”

A Magnum Muckup

Unilever ludicrously forced to “urgently” recall Magnum ice cream because it contains MILK. Health and safety busybodies at their finest.

Hero of the Hour – Adrian Chiles

BBC presenter Adrian Chiles’s delight in the simple pleasures of a pint in a park during lockdown reflects how so many feel.

Moron of the Moment – Larysa Switlyk

“Bitch of the first order” Larysa Switlyk takes to Instagram during the coronavirus lockdown to brag about her latest massacres; this moronic monster previously paid to shoot sheep in England.

Roy Clark’s Roller

‘I Never Picked Cotton’ singer Roy Clark’s Rolls-Royce heads to auction complete with suicide doors and emblazoned with his initials in gold leaf.

Lockdown Lunacy

Aleks Walker examines what famous folk have been doing at home during the coronavirus lockdown and identifies some quite bizarre examples.

Smiling Churchill and Scowling Edward

Rare photograph of Winston Churchill dining with Edward VIII to be sold as part of a sale on the eve of the 80th anniversary of him becoming Prime Minister. In a reversal of roles, it is the royal (nicknamed ‘Our Smiling Prince’) who is scowling whilst the future Prime Minister (nicknamed ‘Our Scowling PM’) smiles.

More Matters Marmalade – Part V

More Matters Marmalade – Part V – Guardian readers on marmalade – Letter penning ‘Guardian’ readers return to their favourite subject – marmalade. This time marmalade and tights.

Heroine of the Hour – Anne Diamond

Heroine of the Hour – Anne Diamond on Duchess of Sussex book – Anne Diamond is right to call out the Duchess of Sussex’s mint-making collaboration with Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand’s ‘Finding Freedom’ as annoying, daft and delusional.

Beauty’s in the Eye of the Bargain Basement Bugatti

Replica “homage to Jean Bugatti’s Type 57S Atlantic coupé” to be auctioned for a sum 99.9% lower than the most famous of the four originals is said to be worth. £124,000 to £165,000 for the 2016 ‘Assembled Vehicle’ 1939 Delahaye USA Pacific by Terry Cook.

A Faithfull Flat

Triplex apartment in Knightsbridge building once home to Marianne Faithfull for sale for the astounding sum of £25 million.

Dopey Derbyshire Dunces

Derbyshire Police yet again show themselves inept at the art of public relations in tweeting about trying to locate a man who...

Hero of the Hour – Liam Gallagher

Rocker Liam Gallagher speaks the most sense on how to survive the coronavirus lockdown in thanking alcohol Rock stars aren’t meant...

Moron of the Moment – Olivia Utley

Rent-a-gob stand-in for Rod Liddle at ‘The Sun’ Olivia Utley shows herself to be nothing but a big-mouthed berk in brainlessly banging...

Weather Now

clear sky
24.7 ° C
26.1 °
23.3 °
33 %
0 %
24 °
22 °
22 °
19 °
20 °