Ian Bostridge must have got distinctly fed up with the label of ‘the thinking man’s tenor’ that has been tied to his career over the last fifteen years. But what can he expect? His branch of the profession is otherwise hardly noted for its exceptional intellectual achievements, and Dr Bostridge used to be a fellow at Oxford in the field of early modern history. His thesis on the decline of witchcraft was tutored by Keith Thomas and published by OUP. His Wikipedia biography also informs me that as a teenager he was mad about theoretical physics, and submitted a theory of gravity and electromagnetism to Roger Penrose.
The egghead thing may have stimulated a lot of sales-promoting press interest – few of today’s classical singers can boast such a fat book of profiles and interviews (to which I myself have contributed with pleasure and admiration) – but it hasn’t always helped his reputation as a