mon 06/04/2020

obituary

Remembering Krzysztof Penderecki (1933-2020)

No composer since Stravinsky has defined his age as comprehensively as Krzysztof Penderecki, who died on Sunday aged 86. Initially an uncompromising modernist, Penderecki was one of the composers who put Poland at the forefront of the musical avant-...

Read more...

Roy Hudd: 'I was just trying to make 'em laugh'

Roy Hudd, who has died at the age of 83, was the last link to the age of entertainment before television. Born in 1936, he entered the business just as music hall and variety were dying out. But he knew the luminaries of that era: Gracie Fields, Max...

Read more...

Jessye Norman, 1945-2019

She was recording Carmen in Paris, and the Radio France auditorium was packed with the press, asking such dazzling questions as "have you been up the Eiffel Tower yet?" and "what do you think of the French men?". I thought, given the statuesque...

Read more...

Al Alvarez: 'If I drop dead this minute, I’ve had a ter­rific time'

We like to think of ourselves as a nation of eccentrics, but some take their patriotic duties more seriously than others. Al Alvarez – poet, critic, poker player, rock climber, old-school literary mensch, who has died at the age of 90 – took his...

Read more...

Franco Zeffirelli: 'I had this feeling that I was special'

"I am amazed to be still alive. Two hours of medieval torment.” Franco Zeffirelli - who has died at the age of 96 - had spent the day having a lumbar injection to treat a sciatic nerve. You could hear the bafflement in his heavily accented English....

Read more...

Obituary: Bibi Andersson 1935-2019

"One talks, the other doesn’t" is about as crude a description as could be of the Swedish masterpiece, Persona. Profoundly experimental even today, Ingmar Bergman’s film was at base about the intense, vampiric encounter between a mute actress...

Read more...

Q&A Special: Actor Bruno Ganz on playing Hitler

There is nothing quite like the Iffland-Ring in this country. The property of the Austrian state, for two centuries it has been awarded to the most important German-speaking actor of the age, who after a suitable period nominates his successor and...

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Theatre Producer Elyse Dodgson

The Royal Court Theatre has long been a leader in new British drama writing. Thanks to Elyse Dodgson, who has died aged 73, it has built up an international programme like few others in the arts, anywhere. At the theatre, Elyse headed up readings,...

Read more...

Montserrat Caballé (1933-2018): from Bellini to 'Barcelona'

Her special claim to fame was the most luminous pianissimo in the business, but that often went hand in velvet glove with fabulous breath control and a peerless sense of bel canto line. To know Maria de Montserrat Viviana Concepción Caballé i Folch...

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Chas and Dave

Chas Hodges has died at the age of 74, bringing to an end a career that reaches back to the very beginnings of British pop music. He was best known as one half of Chas and Dave. The duo he formed with Dave Peacock were the poster boys of rockney, a...

Read more...

'I read French from left to right and Arabic from right to left': remembering Algerian rebel rocker Rachid Taha

Rachid Taha, rockeur and provocateur, died this week of a heart attack. He was one of the last of the rebel rockers, a devotee of both The Clash and Oum Khalsoum. He brought rock and Algerian music together in a fabulously...

Read more...

'You won't be able to handle this lady': remembering Fenella Fielding

Fenella Fielding - “one of the finest female impersonators in the business,” joked Eric Morecambe – has died at the age of 90. Most actors of such a great vintage tend to be forgotten, but not Fielding. Last year she celebrated her big birthday with...

Read more...
Subscribe to obituary