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20.8.05

Charles Mackerras at 80

Also on Ionarts:

More on Janáček Operas in France (May 27, 2005)

Makropoulos Affair in Lyon (May 20, 2005)

Cunning Little Vixen in Berlin: Follow-Up (February 3, 2005)

Cunning Little Vixen in Berlin (January 28, 2005)

Kát'a Kabanová in Paris (November 9, 2004)

Opera Is Back in Toulouse (October 16, 2004)

Leoš Janáček (August 2, 2004)

Thanks to On an Overgrown Path, I read an excellent profile (The modest maestro, August 20) of one of my favorite conductors, Charles Mackerras, by Stephen Moss in The Guardian:
At 80, Mackerras shows little sign of slowing up. He is conducting Mozart's unfinished opera Zaide at the Edinburgh Festival on Tuesday, goes to the Czech Republic to conduct the Prague Symphony Orchestra next month, will conduct Fidelio in Edinburgh and London's Barbican in early October and three concerts with the Berlin Philharmonic later that month, and then heads for Covent Garden, where his birthday performance of Un Ballo in Maschera is sure to be a heady occasion. The house that never quite gave him the top job is now his natural home.

"My wife always jokingly says - well, I don't know how jokingly - that I only seem to be happy when I'm standing in front of an orchestra," says Mackerras. "There's an element of truth in that. I would be very sad if I had to retire. In fact, I'd quite like to die on the podium." Then he laughs. "Well, something like that anyway."
A far better plan, in my opinion, would be to go on conducting forever. I adore the operas of Leoš Janáček, and it is unlikely that I ever would have gotten to know them without Mackerras's pioneering work. I advise you to go and read this long and fascinating article about him.

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