Back in February, my bullet-pointed enthusiasm over Stuart Skelton prompted a commenter to wonder whether this blog would shortly boast a dedicated Skelton category. I said I'd wait till Grimes before considering that.
Let's be honest, though: I always knew the answer. I arrived at Stuart's first Australian Grimes equipped with an insane and dangerous set of expectations; expectation which he promptly rendered sane, harmless and possibly even irrelevant. Because it wasn't just that he was better than I thought he'd be — in fact, I don't know that anyone could be better than the singer my jittery heart was expecting — but that he was sublime in ways it hadn't even occured to me to imagine. It's one thing to anticipate greatness and then receive it; another to anticipate it, receive it, and yet still be completely knocked sideways by its appearance, and the latter is what Stuart caused to happen. He was at once exactly what I'd hoped for and completely unexpected. Witnessing his Grimes — and doing so at such close quarters and in such extraordinary circumstances — was been an astonishing privilege, and, in its nerve-shattering way, a total delight.
So if all that's true, then the least I can do is afford the man a category on this blog. It's a bit sparsely populated at present, but one hopes and expects (more expectations) that this will change in due course. I wish I'd had the means to follow him to Adelaide for SOSA's Dutchman, and if I hadn't overdosed so thoroughly on Streetcar the first time around, I might even be eyeing up the production's Melbourne season. But there's the Sydney Symphony's Das Lied von der Erde on the horizon, and after that, who knows? My fingers are tightly crossed and my wishlist is infinite. Sing anything, Stuart, and we will come. Category officially launched.