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Elijah Moshinsky, Met Opera Director With Fanciful Touch, Dies at 75

His anti-picture-book concept, with a stark set, proved a more effective fit for the vocally powerful, dramatically volatile Mr. Vickers. The production (which can be seen on video) and Mr. Vickers’s performance, were triumphs, and changed the general understanding of the opera.

The next year, Peter Hall, the director of the National Theater in London, invited Mr. Moshinsky to direct a production of Thomas Bernhard’s play “The Force of Habit,” which Mr. Moshinsky described in the BBC interview as a comedic parable in which a “group of circus performers try to play Schubert’s ‘Trout’ Quintet, but can’t.” The production was a dismal failure, running for just six performances.

But that same year Mr. Moshinsky found his footing with an acclaimed production of Berg’s “Wozzeck” for the Adelaide Festival, presented by the Australian Opera (now Opera Australia). Over subsequent years he directed more than 15 productions for the

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‘it’s drama the pandemic can’t touch’

In the first lockdown, many noticed how the roar of traffic was replaced by birdsong. If the pandemic has given us a renewed appreciation for listening, then some of the UK’s leading theatre-makers are turning – or in many cases returning – to audio drama, and pushing the limits of the form. It helps that audio plays can be made quickly and relatively cheaply, incorporating topical issues. Previously staged productions are now being offered in audio form, too, the most recent of which is The Whip by the RSC. Is this all leading to a new golden age of audio drama or merely filling in for the “real thing”? And will we listen differently when we eventually return to auditoriums?

The playwright Simon Stephens says our theatrical tradition valorises listening above all else. “Samuel Pepys wrote about ‘hearing’ a new play at the Globe, not ‘watching’ it. There is

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