Multi award-winning actress Fiona Shaw talks to Edward Seckerson about the not inconsiderable demands of juggling Restoration comedy with German expressionism - directing the opera Elegy for Young by day and playing Lady Gay Spanker in London Assurance by night.

Between shows at the National Theatre, where she’s been delighting audiences in London Assurance, she enthuses about her second foray into the challenging business of directing Opera: Hans Werner Henze’s early gem Elegy for Young Lovers for English National Opera at the Young Vic, which opened last week.

She enlightens us about this strange, dream-like, opera-play, about not so delicate balance of being a working actor and director at the same time, about her own aversion to being “directed” and what she hopes is her “zen-like” presence in the rehearsal room.



For more info visit www.eno.org

To listen, click the 'play' button above; or to listen on your iPod/MP3 player and receive free weekly updates, click here to subscribe and download from iTunes.

Writer and broadcaster Edward Seckerson is chief classical music and opera critic for the Independent. He wrote and presented the long-running BBC Radio 3 series Stage & Screen, in which he interviewed many of the most prominent writers and stars of musical theatre. He appears regularly on BBC Radio 3 and 4. On television, he has commentated a number of times at the Cardiff Singer of the World competition. He has published books on Mahler and the conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, and has been on Gramophone Magazine’s review panel for many years. Seckerson presented the 2007 series of the Radio 4 music quiz Counterpoint. He has interviewed everyone from Leonard Bernstein to Liza Minelli; from Paul McCartney to Pavarotti: from Julie Andrews to Jessye Norman. For more info visit www.edwardseckerson.biz.