thu 16/09/2021

Features & Interviews

Summer seasons in a Covid world: five opera company movers and shakers reflect


The bleakest time of all for live music during the Covid crisis came in the first four and a half months of this year.

First Person: theatre director Christopher Haydon on how the Rose Theatre, Kingston, can bloom anew

Christopher Haydon

Programming a theatre during a pandemic has been like trying to nail jelly to a set of constantly moving goalposts. Government indecision meant that reopening dates shifted repeatedly while the configuration of our auditorium kept changing as we tried to adapt to ever-evolving regulations around social distancing. Even our audience – once so familiar to us – became an unknown quantity.

Out of the shadows: Dylan’s Eighties reappraised

Tim Cumming

Dylan’s 1980s weren’t great in terms of critical acclaim. As an emerging new fan, I knew that first hand from the scathing reviews accorded Shot of...

First Person: pianist Filippo Gorini on head,...

Filippo Gorini

A past work of art either still speaks to us in the present, or it is dead. To try and understand a masterpiece, we tend to look at its past: we...

Through hoops and hurdles to sheer joy: BBC Proms...

David Pickard

As anyone who has been trying to steer an arts organisation through the pandemic will tell you, the greatest challenge has been uncertainty; learning...

First Person: composer Joseph Phibbs on rescoring Britten

Joseph Phibbs

Tonight at Snape: chamber arrangement of an early masterpiece, 'Our Hunting Fathers'

Remembering Graham Vick (1953-2021) - top colleagues on one of the greatest opera directors


Five singers, a conductor and a casting director recall an irreplaceable visionary

First Person: theartsdesk writer Bernard Hughes on composing for the BBC Proms

Bernard Hughes

Classical music reviewer on sitting on the other side of the artist-critic fence

First Person: young musicians Brooke Simpson and Erin Black on the National Youth Orchestra's 'Hope Exchange' project

Brooke Simpson And Erin Black

NYO double bass player and orchestral pianist on their part in a very special collaboration

First Person: conductor Enrique Mazzola on Verdi's time-travelling 'Luisa Miller'

Enrique Mazzola

Notes from the musician who knows Glyndebourne's last main-season production best

10 Questions for Harry Grafton of Red Rooster Festival

Thomas H Green

On The Rolling Stones, Americana, and his festival surviving COVID-19

First Person: Héloïse Werner on a live collaboration with fellow composers and performers

Héloïse Werner

New music in a trio concert with a difference

An Oral History of Glastonbury Festival 1992

Thomas H Green

Take a 29 year time-trip back to the world's greatest festival with those who were there

'In music, we are together': saxophonist Jess Gillam on returning to concerts with audience

Jess Gillam

One of our liveliest musical communicators on the slow journey out of lockdown

First Person: Roxanna Panufnik on a new version of her 'Letters from Burma' in aid of Myanmar refugees

Roxanna Panufnik

The composer on why she expanded a chamber piece for London Mozart Players

From cancellation to new vigour: pianist and artistic director Joseph Middleton on Leeds Lieder

Joseph Middleton

One of our most enterprising younger-generation performers on renewing a major festival

First Person: Director Maria Aberg on drawing fresh inspiration for the future

Maria Aberg

The theatre-maker sets out her stall for an ambitious, pan-European venture

First Person: playwright Tanika Gupta on being back in the rehearsal room once more

Tanika Gupta

The writer expresses her joy at going 'Out West'

Glastonbury Festival: Live at Worthy Farm livestream review - glitched access upstages beautifully shot live footage

Caspar Gomez

Calamitous technical upset overshadows Coldplay, HAIM, Damon Albarn, Kano, IDLES and the rest

Music books to end lockdown: Sam Lee, Hawkwind, Dylan, Richard Thompson, and the Electric Muses

Tim Cumming

From nightingale song to sonic attack via folk rock and the world's greatest songwriter, spring 2021's best music books

Christa Ludwig, 1928-2021: a selective tribute

David Nice

The German mezzo-soprano embraced the light and the dark at a transcendental level

Extract: Blackface by Ayanna Thompson


Examining the history and legacies of this racist performance mode

First Person: Boris Giltburg on lockdown interruptions to filming Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas

Boris Giltburg

The Moscow-born Israeli pianist on an odyssey that took several unexpected turns

First Person: composer and Renaissance man Tunde Jegede on transcending genres

Tunde Jegede

Crossing boundaries for Southampton's 'Mayflower 400: Voyages of the Heart' project

Helen McCrory: 'If there's one interesting thing about acting it's trying to lose your ego'

Jasper Rees

Three encounters with the great actor who has died at the age of 52

The Royal Ballet - variations on a comeback

Jenny Gilbert

How one major ballet company survived to dance another day

The Master Musicians of Joujouka review - a 4000 year-old rock'n'roll band

Mark Kidel

Healing music from the Rif Mountains of Morocco

Filmmaker Darius Marder: 'Deafness is a culture. That's not being PC'

Owen Richards

Writer and director on Sound of Metal's long journey from concept to award nominations

Extract: TV by Susan Bordo


On 75 years of changing TV, changing habits and the relationship between TV and Trump


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters

latest in today

Is God Is, Royal Court review – blister, flare and burn, bab...

God is a tricky one. Or should that be One? And definitely not a He. So when she says take revenge, then vengeance is definitely not only hers,...

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain review - visually arrestin...

On its surface, a biopic of a late-Victorian artist starring big...

Our Future in Your Hands, Peckham School Choirs, Multi-Story...

What a way for the Multi-Story Orchestra, conductor Christopher Stark and composer Kate Whitley to celebrate 10 years of pioneering activity in...

Album: The Eivind Aarset 4-Tet - Phantasmagoria, or A Differ...

Phantasmagoria, or A Different Kind of Journey instantly sets its controls for an excursion into the interstellar void between gaseous...

Michael Janisch Band, Ronnie Scott's review - jazz...

This was, said bassist Michael Janisch, his first gig since January last year, and his crack group’s Monday evening set, kicking off at the un-...

Indecent, Menier Chocolate Factory review - cabaret-style de...

Indecent is a play wrapped inside a news story about...

Album: The Felice Brothers - From Dreams To Dust

There’s a modesty to the Felice Brothers, an absenting of ego, even...

Rigoletto, Royal Opera review - routine clouds the best in t...

Another season, another new production of Verdi’s nastiest...

The Lost Leonardo review - an incredible tale as gripping as...

It’s been described as “the most improbable story that has ever happened in the art market”, and The Lost Leonardo reveals every twist...