Today’s interview comes from someone who has, over the last few years, really made a name for himself in the world of UK theatre. Having played some of the most iconic roles in musicals, he is currently appearing every night at Her Majesty’s Theatre playing the eponymous role in The Phantom of the Opera. I’d love for you all to learn more about the fabulous Geronimo Rauch.
With Geronimo outside HMT
1. You have an impressive career so far. When did you decide that performing was something you wanted to do?
I was studying advertising and at the same time I had my singing lessons with a private teacher. Once we did a concert and when I sang ¨sueña¨(dream) something very special changed in me and my way of singing and since then I decided to do this the rest of my life.
2. If you weren’t performing what do you think you would be doing instead?
Advertising or involved in producing musical theatre or directing movies. Hahahaha who knows?
3. You’re from Argentina – what is the theatre scene like out there? You have also performed in Spain, how do they both compare to London?
Argentina´s theatre scene is very impressive and creative. Full of talent and amazing performers. The only problem is that musicals and plays don’t stay 60 years as the Mouse trap or 28 as Les Miserables have done.
I think that the main difference is that Musical Theatre industry in the UK is massive and there is a lot of work. And also the way you study here is amazing. You can have a Degree on Performing Arts! That doesn’t exist in my country. All that I learnt was with private lessons. Thank god I found the best teachers.
4. Was performing on the West End something you always wanted to do? How does it feel to be on stage there, as the lead role, every night?
When I was young I couldn’t imagine myself in the west end because it was something impossible to dream. But since I moved to Spain I felt that the West End was closer and that I could dream on performing here.
Every day when I arrive to Her Majesty´s Theatre I realise where I am and sometimes I don’t believe it is happening.
5. Do you do much preparation for each role? If so, how? Research? Watching the show, reading the book etc?
For Les Miserables I read the book, I saw movies and also I had all the information that I learnt when I was playing Feuilly in Buenos Aires.
For the Phantom I decided to become a blank paper and started filling it with all the information that I got from the creative team.
6. Do you have any pre-show rituals or superstitions that you have to do before each performance?
Not superstitions! Yes to the rituals but I think I´ll keep them as a secret haha!
7. You’re currently playing the Phantom in the Phantom of the Opera. How are you finding this? What is your favourite part?
I love the Point of No Return. I always say this because it reminds me of Buenos Aires and the Tango.
8. You have played three of the most iconic roles in musical theatre – Phantom, Jean Valjean and Jesus (JCS). Do you have a favourite and why?
The three of them are very important in my career. All of them changed me in a good way and I will play them again if I have the chance. But now the Phantom is my new challenge and I’m really enjoying this journey.
9. Which is the most challenging – Bring Him Home, Gethsemane or Music Of The Night? Again, why?
Three master pieces, three intense and brilliant songs. All of them are challenging in different ways but I think that the hardest to sing is Gethsemane.
10. You went through a reality TV show, Pop Stars. Can you talk us through this? What was it like and would you ever do anything like it again?
It was a very intense experience mainly because we became famous instantly and I couldn’t cope with it very easily. But the artistic experience was good and we toured all around Latin America.
I don’t think I would get into a reality show again but I definitely want to became a recording artist again.
11. If you could choose any other role to play now, what would you choose?
Billy Elliot! Hahahahaah! But I don´t have the age nor the dancing talent.
12. If you could offer any advice to people wanting to perform as you do, what would you say to them?
I would say to prepare and train a lot. And to always follow your dreams because if you believe they will come true. But it is hard work to make them true.
13. What would you say are your career highlights so far?
You named them before Jesus, Valjean and Phantom.
14. Is there anything career-wise that you have not yet done, that you would like to achieve? Any ambitions?
My Goal for next year is to record my solo album and I hope I could make my dream come true.
And here are a few more fun ones, so we get to know you a little better:
1. How do you like to spend your free time?
I love to spend my time with my wife and my son and now I’m discovering that there is a whole new world for me to discover as a father. I also have very good friends here in London.
2. If you could invite three people round for dinner (alive or dead) who would you have?
Freddie Mercury, John Lennon and Bob Marley.
3. Is there anything you can tell us about you that not a lot of people know?
No! hahahah lets keep the mystery!
4. Has anything embarrassing ever happened to you on stage? Can you tell us about it?
It wasn’t on stage but I remember it as the worst moment in my artistic life. I was 8 years old and I sang in front of my classmates. They all started laughing and I think that I had to wait 10 years to sing again in front of an audience haha!
5. If you were an animal, which would you be and why?
A Bear because many friends call me like that in Argentina.
Massive thanks to Geronimo for taking time out to answer these questions, and for giving us a lovely insight into his career. If you haven’t been to see him perform yet then you really need to put this on your to do list – I was blown away by his Phantom and cannot wait to go back to see it again. It is no surprise that he was the favourite Valjean of many and I know that he has a massive career ahead (as if it wasn’t already!). Now to watch this space for his album – I for one will be excited for news.
PS: Apologies for the formatting once again. I really need to get this sorted!