My guest on this episode, Michael Morley is Emeritus Professor of Drama at Flinders University in South Australia, and continues to perform as a pianist and musical director, and contribute as a music and theatre critic for local and international publications.
Michael has embraced lifelong passions for learning, teaching and performing that stem from his earliest days growing up in New Zealand. We learn how his grandfather introduced him music and performance in a somewhat unconventional manner, how the encouragement of a series of teachers inspired him to step up his fascination in literature, poetry, theatre and music.
Michael tells the story of how his afternoons playing badminton got him arrested in Zurich, and how changing his planned research at Oxford led to him discovering and championing the work of pre-war and exiled German composers and lyricists that might have otherwise been buried under the weight of their moment in history.
Michael learned more in his first twenty five or thirty years than most of us will learn in our entire lifetime, but then perhaps more importantly has dedicated the forty odd years since then in sharing his knowledge, experience and insights with students, colleagues and audiences in New Zealand, Australia and around the world.
In this episode we discuss:
- The book that introduced Michael to the layabout Oxford lifestyle - Max Beerbohm’s Zuleika Dobson
- David Bollard - New Zealand born Australian Classical Pianist and Teacher
- Swedish Playwrights Max Frisch and Friedrich Dürrenmatt
- The Berliner Ensemble, the German theatre company established by playwright Bertolt Brecht and his wife, Helene Weigel in January 1949 in East Berlin
- The New York Times writes about a recent collection of Brecht’s Poetry, mentioning that “translating Brecht is no easy task, especially in the early rhyming poems that borrow their form from Dante and Shakespeare. The Domestic Breviary is full of ballads that are meant to be read out loud, preferably while smoking, to lute or guitar.”
- The Caucasian Chalk Circle is a play by Brecht
- John WIllett - one of the two major (English language) Brecht scholars in the world (obit from the NY Times in 2002)
- Rudyard Kipling
- Robyn Archer AO
- Cameron Goodall bio and Arts Review profile