Charlotte Higgins on Muck Rack

Charlotte Higgins Verified

London, mostly
Chief Arts Writer — Guardian

Chief arts writer, the Guardian; classicist. Author of inter alia, UNDER ANOTHER SKY: JOURNEYS IN ROMAN BRITAIN

Simon Rattle is waving his baton at the wrong cause — What price Sir Simon Rattle? £100m? £200m? The conductor has long been in discussions with the London Symphony Orchestra about the terms of his taking over the music directorship of that orchestra when he leaves the Berlin Philharmonic, and when Valery Gergiev's tenure in London ends.

Death becomes her: how Juliette Binoche and Ivo van Hove remade Antigone — Patrick O'Kane, the actor who is playing the seer Tiresias in Ivo van Hove's production of Sophocles's Antigone, is waiting for the working day to begin in a London rehearsal room, watching Andy Murray on his phone in the Australian Open. How do you find Van Hove, I ask.

Wagner isn’t for everyone. Not at these prices, anyway — Five hours of Wagner might not be everyone's idea of a merry Saturday afternoon but the English National Opera's The Mastersingers of Nuremberg was spellbinding. ENO's orchestra was conducted magnificently by Edward Gardner.

The crisis at the Coliseum is just part of our national opera’s malaise — The travails at English National Opera have an eerily familiar ring to anyone who has followed its fortunes for long. In late January the chair, Martyn Rose, resigned abruptly, as did the recently appointed executive director Henriette Götz. Soon afterwards a letter from Rose to Vernon Ellis, ENO's president, was leaked, revealing the extent of internal feuding.

Leonora Carrington: wild at heart — Leonora Carrington was a debutante who ran away with the surrealists. Born in 1917, she was exactly the same age as Jessica Mitford - who eloped with Winston Churchill's nephew to the Spanish civil war.

I’ve got news for Chris Bryant. The real enemy of diversity in the arts is politics — It has been a lively start for Chris Bryant, the new shadow culture minister. After the MP told the Guardian that we can't "just have a culture dominated by Eddie Redmayne and James Blunt and their ilk", Blunt expressed his frustration colourfully, calling the MP a "prejudiced wazzock" and "classist gimp".

British Museum’s director receives a Teutonic lovebombing — To an ambassadorial dinner (not words I have cause to write terribly often) to witness the bestowal of the commander's cross of the order of merit of the Federal Republic of Germany on Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum. This was done, the main building being out of action, at the former GDR embassy in Belgravia in London.

The passion players: amateur classical music in the UK — Nearly two years ago, I started to play ­chamber music. I had been one of those schoolgirl ­music nerds who had let ­playing drop in adulthood. Picking up the violin again wasn't easy: the digits had lost their acrobatic ease on the strings, but with time and patience and practice, things began to fall into place again.

Fifty Shades of Grey sends sales of Thomas Tallis's Spem in Alium soaring — "The singing starts again ... building and building, and he rains down blows on me ... and I groan and writhe ... Lost in him, lost in the astral, seraphic voices ... I am completely at the mercy of his expert touch ... "'What was that music?' I mumble almost inarticulately.

British Museum director Neil MacGregor must be saved for the nation — As Neil MacGregor, the director of the British Museum, conducts David Cameron and Angela Merkel around the exhibition Germany: Memories of a Nation, the prime minister ought to consider keeping him close: German officials are making no secret of the fact that he would be a highly desirable candidate to run the Humboldt Forum, a new centre for art and culture in Berlinthat opens in 2019.
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Feb 26, 2015

RT @lyngardner: A stage of their own: why female playwrights are still marginalised

Feb 24, 2015

@owen_g @janemartinson We have long reads, in which one pens articles using quill and own blood, so yeah...

Feb 24, 2015

RT @AndrewSparrow: Cameron praises BBC and hints at more money for World Service for news to Baltic states -…

Feb 24, 2015

@owen_g @janemartinson I love this - what is it? Can we have hand drawn papers always? (body text a bit sketchy, mind)

Feb 24, 2015

@robnitm @IanMartin Very fond of that story. Always found it strangely heartening that the 38 route is essentially the same as ever.

Feb 24, 2015

@martinhadis Hello: I'm trying to find a copy of your book on the English ancestors of Borges. I wonder if you can help me? I'm in the UK.

Feb 24, 2015

@rsulcas @LukeJennings1 Absolutely splendid. I love how she is rocking her suit and polka-dot shirt...

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