THE VIEW FROM MY WINDOW: Ben McAteer, opera singer

THE VIEW FROM MY WINDOW: Ben McAteer, opera singer
Ben enjoys a quiet night in

ARE YOU SITTING COMFORTABLY?

I’m sitting in a now clearly defined groove on my couch in the large, high-ceilinged living room of my Glasgow West End flat.

I’m surrounded by an odd mixture of antique armchairs, a beautiful walnut sideboard and a scattering of Ikea bookcases and shelving.

Almost every surface is covered with sheet music or frantically scribbled notes from rehearsals.

Most importantly, in the room is my gas fire, set in a simple white marble mantelpiece. It’s an absolute must given the height of the ceiling and the single-glazing…

WHAT’S THE VIEW LIKE?

I’m fortunate enough to be overlooking a beautiful square garden and right now there are two grey squirrels playing among the many oak and chestnut trees. Right outside my window is an impressive chestnut tree.

The garden has been a retreat for me during the better weather of this year and it’s always buzzing with kids’ football games, barbecues and, on very rare occasions, sunbathers.

Peeking through the gaps in the trees are the wonderful sandstone facades of the houses opposite which, as with most of the West End, are just as picturesque as the garden.

FAVOURITE PLACE NEARBY?

I have so many favourites but I love the Botanic Gardens and Kelvingrove Park on sunny days when they are full of people – dogs and children running wild.

I really can’t go past Ashton Lane without stopping for a drink or a bite to eat.

Almost every day of the week I can be found occupying a corner of Tinderbox café which is on Byres Road.

WHAT’S YOUR IDEA OF THE PERFECT NIGHT IN?

As I spend most of my working day surrounded by people – talking and singing – my perfect night in is almost certainly a quiet one.

Fire on, bottle of red, and… I hate to admit it… Strictly on the TV.

LAST THING YOU BOUGHT FOR YOUR HOME?

A big, comfy cushion.

IF I DIDN’T LIVE HERE, I’D WANT TO LIVE IN…

A penthouse apartment in Manhattan, ideally overlooking Central Park… perhaps not one with Trump emblazoned on it.

Ben won rave reviews for the title role in Scottish Opera’s The Marriage of Figaro across Scotland (www.scottishopera.org.uk).
He will make his Welsh National Opera debut in spring as Falke in Die Fledermaus.

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