At the point in 1980 when I was asked to become a member of The King’s Singers I had a confession to make to the members of the group. Although I was very aware of who they were and what they did, this was all through the media of radio, television and recordings. As a busy free-lance singer based in London – and there was quite a bit of free-lance work around in those days – I had never actually seen The King’s Singers live. I felt that I should at least observe one concert before I gave them an answer.
It just so happened that within a few days they were giving a gala charity performance at the Royal Festival Hall. I sat in the audience with my wife Angela, watched and listened. As the concert went on, various trademark ‘special effects’ appeared in some of the pieces. As each one occured I turned to her and said, ‘ I can’t do that’. At the end of the concert I counted up: I’d said ‘I can’t do that’ five times. To this day I don’t know whether I was elated or terrified.
Of course I went to see the group backstage. ‘So will you join us?’ Elation won. ‘Absolutely’, I said.
Jeremy Jackman, Countertenor 1980-1990
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