mon 17/06/2019

First Person

Roger Wright on Oliver Knussen: ‘his challenge to us all to remain curious lives on’

The composition course founded more than 25 years ago at Snape by composers Oliver Knussen and Colin Matthews is in full swing. The scene is the Britten Studio at Snape Maltings on the Suffolk coast. Like Colin, Olly's connections to Aldeburgh and...

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First Person: Matt Henry on fulfilling 'a dream come true' to play the legendary singer Sam Cooke

When I first read One Night in Miami, I instantly felt a strong connection to the piece and its story. The fact that Sam Cooke, Malcolm X, Cassius Clay and Jim Brown, four iconic black men at the top of their game in 1964, actually...

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First Person: Conductor Maxime Pascal on Stockhausen at the Southbank Centre

Stockhausen stands alongside Monteverdi and Beethoven as a composer who exploded the understanding of his art. Stockhausen deeply changed the relationship between space, time and music; there’s a human, intimate dimension to his composition, and he...

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First Person: Ellen McDougall on finding the commonality in the American classic 'Our Town'

I’ve wanted to direct Thornton Wilder’s Our Town for a long time.The play is beautifully written and its form feels not only ahead of its time (it was written in 1938), but also extremely powerful for a contemporary audience in an open air...

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First Person: Liam Byrne on bringing Versailles to the City's 'Culture Mile'

When you dedicate your life to studying and performing on a musical instrument that essentially went extinct at the end of the 18th century, nostalgia plays a certain unavoidable role in your daily routine. I don't mean fetishistic historicism - I'm...

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First Person: Sam Lee on singing with endangered nightingales

Every spring for the last five years, we have gathered around a camp fire in hidden locations in a wood in Sussex, to join the nightingales and to “re-wild” ancient folk ballads. We walk in silence through the forest at night, with no torches,...

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For Folk's Sake: 'I owe my very existence to Morris dancing'

Halfway through filming For Folk’s Sake, a documentary for BBC Four about Morris dancing, I received a package in the post that would dramatically change the course of the programme. It was from my mother. Inside were a number of yellowing newspaper...

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Trevor Nunn: 'I'm amazed by Harley Granville Barker's prescience and extraordinary modernity'

So here we are with another edition of IQ, and the subject this week is theatre. Question one: which actor originated several leading roles in the plays of George Bernard Shaw, including Marchbanks in Candida, Dubedat in The Doctor's Dilemma, and...

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James Graham: 'the country of Shakespeare no longer recognises arts as a core subject'

Thank you. It’s an honour to have been asked to speak here today. Although looking at the h100 List this year, I’ve no idea why I’m presumptuously standing here; given the talent, creativity and achievements far surpassing my own within this room....

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Anil Gupta and Richard Pinto: 'We figured Molière would have toyed with it too'

Back in June 2017, in the days when English summertime was a lazy idyll rather than an apocalyptic inferno, RSC artistic director Greg Doran met us at his office in Stratford-upon-Avon and asked whether we wanted to write a new version of ...

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'I saw that death is beautiful, unspeakable and strange': on filming 'Island'

Most of us have very little knowledge of the process of life ending, physically and emotionally, until it comes suddenly into our own experience. Dying remains taboo. We don’t talk about dying, we don’t teach it in schools, and yet this event is as...

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F Off: National Youth Theatre puts social media on trial

F Off came about off the back of a meeting I had with Paul Roseby, the artistic director of the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain. I’d come in to talk to him about my writing and through complete coincidence, someone had just auditioned for...

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