Robert originally started training as a cellist, but switched to singing, which he studied at Guildhall School Of Music and Drama, in London. He has played a variety of leading roles in the West End, including Lancelot in Camelot, Raoul in Phantom of the Opera, Curly in Oklahoma and Tommy in Brigadoon. His varied career has seen him appearing in concert with some of the world's leading orchestras.
He was born in Romford, Essex, into a very musical household. His mother was an accomplished pianist, and his father Norman Meadmore was an opera singer who performed at the opening seasons of Glyndebourne. Sadly, his father damaged his voice by singing with laryngitis and became Stage Director for the D'Oyly Carte opera company based at the Savoy, - where the famous Gilbert and Sullivan operettas were performed on a regular basis.
"My three elder brothers and I used to play small parts such as the Midshipman in Pinafore or the Drummer Boy in Gondoliers. My brothers all got proper jobs, - I am the only one who stayed in the music business, although my eldest brothers both married opera singers".
The album, "After A Dream" was recorded in Dublin over a two day period in the summer of 2004, working with producer and conductor, Mike Batt. The two collaborators decided to perform the pieces "live" in the studio, and to record complete takes which would not subsequently be edited. Batt had arranged the pieces for strings and voice only.
Robert says, "To many recording artists, two days may seem a very short production time. However, we wanted to retain a live concert feeling, - which essentially meant losing the safety net of constructing the album slowly. Also, we felt that more excitement would be retained in our respective performances (as singer and conductor) if we felt that these performances were not going to be doctored in any way afterwards. I was standing next to the orchestra in a traditional soloist concert position, rather than being in an isolation booth, so there was very much an organic feeling of a group of people making music together.
Robert likens the physical aspects of singing to other acts requiring muscular control, such as athletics and dancing.
"Classical technique, or vocal production technique in general, - is important, whatever genre you are working in. A strong basic technique is the most important asset, and regular training is essential. It is rather like a dancer who has to do barre exercises to keep the technique going and then has the ability to dance jazz, ballet or any other style. Singers and dancers always have to do their basic daily exercises."
Many weeks were spent choosing the direction and the specific repertoire for the album.
"Mike suggested that I should put together a list of songs and arias which I would like to sing. Gradually, he and I whittled the list down to twelve, and it turned out that the direction was clearly classical, although that wasn't particularly our intended direction when we decided to make the album, it was more of a reflection of our tastes and instincts being similar. I must admit that I have always enjoyed the idea of doing a song from a musical in a classical vein, because a lot of the songs from musicals are based on classical construction and melodic value."
Batt, who signed Robert to his own DRAMATICO record label, said,
"Over the years I've worked with many singers from classical to heavy metal and all stations in between. It is a common thought that many classical singers find it difficult to sing light songs, (although, sadly this doesn't stop them from trying!) - and vice versa. Robert possesses a rare ability to sing classical songs with sensitivity and understanding, whereas many purely classical singers are preoccupied with voice production to the extent that the meaning and the emotion of the song is lost. There is an easy comparison with the acting technique of, for example, a Royal Shakespeare actor, who has to be concerned with hitting the back wall of the theatre with an audible performance. There is a price to pay for that sheer volume of voice production - a loss of reality and naturalness. An actor in a television studio can be as natural as he or she wants to be, because the burden of producing the pure volume is removed, or at least diminished in importance.
So it is with singing. These days, an artist can concentrate solely on communication and the beauty of the voice, without worrying about the pursuit of loudness. Robert takes this opportunity and makes the most of it. His performance ranges from almost inaudible to a full-blooded operatic texture. He is a superb interpreter who sings from the heart with sincerity that I find very moving. His voice has a unique and beautiful character."