Gerónimo Rauch began his singing career at the Piannissimo Music Academy in Argentina with Maestro Cristián Bruno, and continued with Maestro Rodolfo Valss.
His theatre credits include playing Jean Valjean in Les Misérables at the Queen’s Theatre and in the Spanish version Los Misérables (Madrid and Barcelona), Mary Sunshine in Chicago, Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar (Spain and Argentina), Doody in Grease and Feuilly in Les Misérables.
His other work includes winning Popstars in Argentina in 2002, recording three multiple-platinum CDs with his group Mambrú. Mambrú won the Best Pop Group and Best New Band Gardel Award, Best Pop Band INTE Award and a Martin Fierro Award.
Gerónimo recently took time out to chat about his career and The Phantom of the Opera.
Can you tell us a favourite memorable moment from your childhood?
I treasure every moment that I spent with my grandfather! I loved going camping with him and to the park.
Who or what inspired you to want to have a career in music and theatre?
My family encouraged me to start taking singing lessons. Thanks to their support I’m here now. I would say that the Les Mis 10th Anniversary had a lot of influence on me. It really inspired me.
You started your singing career at the Piannissimo Music Academy in Argentina with Maestro Cristián Bruno. Can you tell us about your time there?
I was a very shy person. I couldn’t cope with the idea of sharing my vulnerability in front of an audience. Now I love that state of fragility and transparency as a performer.
How did your training continue from there?
I’m not going to share all of my CV as it would be boring to read. But I can say that I learnt the most when I started studying opera with my lovely Mestros Suso and Edelmiro. I still go to my classical training when I can’t find an answer or a solution to a singing problem.
Did you have an ultimate goal in mind with your singing career?
I definitely wanted to record a solo album.
In 2002 you won Popstars in Argentina, and then recorded three multiple-platinum CDs with your group Mambrú. Can you tell us about Mambrú?
It was a lovely and extreme journey of pop music, fame and the rock and roll life! I have very good memories of that era.
Your concerts include: Placido Domingo’s 70th Anniversary Concert, and a classical debut at the Spanish National Auditorium. What was special about both of those occasions?
I would say that singing in front of one of my heroes was a very hard challenge to overcome. He is one of the greatest performers in history and he was completely humble and thankful. I was speechless. My classical debut was a goal that I had to do. New challenges thrill your life and that’s what I felt.
You played the role of Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar, in Spain and Argentina. What did you enjoy most about being a part of this show?
Jesus was one of the main goals in my career. Since the first time I heard Gethsemane I couldn’t stop dreaming about it.
Your theatre roles include Mary Sunshine in Chicago. What did you enjoy most about the role and the show?
After playing such an iconic role as Jesus I wanted a new challenge. Something different to show to the Spanish musical theatre audience. And it was a perfect choice for my career. The really funny thing about this show is that I was working on stage with my wife, and at the interval we were always together, and she was sitting on an old lady’s lap. That image will never be erased from my brain nor my wife’s. Ha ha!
Your theatre includes Jean Valjean in Les Misérables at the Queen’s Theatre London, and in the Spanish version Los Misérables (Madrid and Barcelona). What personality trait do you like most in Jean Valjean?
His Faith. That’s the key of the role. He looks stronger from the outside but his inner strength is what moves him, and that’s where his real power is.
You are now playing the role of The Phantom at Her Majesty’s Theatre London. Is this the pinnacle of your career, and where your career has always been heading?
I never thought I would ever be at this point but now that I’m here I want to dream higher.
I have heard you say that for The Phantom, “the rehearsal journey was very lonely”. Is it a lonely role to play?
Yes, it is a very lonely role but it helps to build the character. I hardly see anyone before going on stage.
Why is your favourite song in the show “The Point of No Return”?
Because it has a lot of Tango in it and reminds me of my country. Tango is in my blood and I feel the passion in Point of No Return.
Would you like to play the role of Raoul?
I don’t think so. I wanted to play the role when I was younger, but not now.
What do you enjoy most about playing The Phantom?
I feel free as a performer.
Away from the stage what do you like to do to chill out?
Being with my family is the best thing to do in my time off.
Can you give us one reason why everyone should get along to see The Phantom of The Opera?
It’s an epic love story! You’ll never forget The Phantom experience.
Have you any message to those following your career?
I will make mistakes but I will try to learn from them.
Follow Gerónimo Rauch on Twitter @GeronimoRauch
Interview by Neil Cheesman
Gerónimo Rauch is currently playing the role of The Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre London.