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If even a Michael Berkeley-Ian McEwan collaboration can't find funding, there must be a real problem with the way we do contemporary opera

By Martin Kettle   May 2008

Few living british composers are as prominent as Michael Berkeley. He has an established body of work stretching back over more than 30 years, is a high-profile public figure in broadcasting and the arts and—as the son of Lennox Berkeley and godson of Benjamin Britten—is one of the bluebloods of English music.

Even fewer British writers are as well known as Ian McEwan. He too has been writing since the 1970s, is one of Britain’s most highly regarded novelists, is a Booker prize-winner and is, like Berkeley, one of Britain’s significant public intellectuals.

So when two such figures, each at…

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