Rhinegold Does an alternative stage career beckon for Donald Trump? Pictured at the 2005 Emmy Awards

Simon Smith

Donald Trump’s starring roles at the opera

11:20, 3rd November 2020

As America goes to the polls on what promises to prove a landmark election day, we look at Donald Trump’s chequered operatic career since he became president in 2016.

In a rare admission of a gap in his otherwise all-embracing knowledge, Trump admitted in his 2004 self-help guide How to Get Rich: ‘My knowledge of classical music is limited.’ That didn’t stop him from including an extended simile comparing the art of conducting with high-flying commerce in his 2007 tome, The Way to Success: ‘Running a business is like being an orchestra conductor,’ Trump affirmed. ‘When you lead an organisation or a business, you, like a conductor, must take charge and exercise control. How well your people perform is your responsibility, direction flows from the top, and you’re the maestro.

‘When the orchestra plays, the maestro maintains the tempo. Imagine if each orchestra member set his or her own pace and played at his or her own speed. It would be a cacophony, an ear-shattering mess, a disaster. When a business doesn’t follow a steady tempo, it can also create chaos…

‘In my organisation, I set a rapid pace, which is called allegro in symphonic circles.’

Meanwhile, although Trump has never admitted that he’s ever been to an opera, to Opera Now‘s knowledge at least, opera has nevertheless embraced The Donald:

Daniel Sumegi as the boorish, lecherous Baron Ochs in Melbourne Opera’s Der Rosenkavalier


Tenor Hyojong Kim as the scheming, philandering Duke of Mantua in the Landestheater Linz’s production of Verdi’s Rigoletto



Long Beach Opera’s premiere of Anthony Davis’ 2019 opera The Central Park Five, featuring Thomas Segen as a younger Donald Trump calling for the death penalty in connection with a group of ethnic minority teenagers who were subsequently found to be wrongly convicted of rape



From Rhinegold Media & Events
Featured products