tue 18/02/2020

theartsdesk Q&A: Sir Charles Mackerras | reviews, news & interviews

theartsdesk Q&A: Sir Charles Mackerras

theartsdesk Q&A: Sir Charles Mackerras

A great conductor's ageless master class in candour

At 84 years of age, Sir Charles Mackerras is one of the best-respected and best-loved operatic conductors working in the world today. He conducts Benjamin Britten's The Turn of the Screw for the English National Opera tonight and, despite bouts of ill health, found time to talk about his friendship - and falling out - with Britten, his time conducting the opera under Britten's watchful eye, his experiences in Prague in 1948 as a witness to the Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia, his pioneering performances of Mozart from the 1960s and his run-ins with Richard Jones and Christopher Alden over their "monstrous" modern productions.

The ascendancy of the producer is ruining the whole of opera because they tend to do productions that have nothing to do with the opera

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