“My festivals are quite heavily curated,” says David Berthold. “There are threads that weave through them. Some are openly declared, but some are more secret – to be found if one wishes to find them.”

In this, the second year of his four-festival tenure, the Brisbane Festival Artistic Director has shown himself more than willing to take risks, not shying away from the unusual or the daring in his programming. “I enjoy the works in the festival that are not the ones you would expect,” he says. “A lot of the work last year, particularly work that was either from or about the Congo, was stuff that people weren’t expecting. Certainly Coup Fataland the way it dealt with Baroque music. And the way that Macbethdealt with Romantic music, with Verdi .They were two ‘festival’ pieces, because they took an angle that was different and quite unexpected.”

“I think in a festival people are very open minded – much more than they are at other times of the year,” he continues. “They know it’s a festival, they know that some of the stuff they go to might not actually be their cup of tea. But hey, you never know –...

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