“To be honest, if I were you, I’d cancel the train ticket and buy a plane ticket. This might last for a while.” The voice belonged to the Production Coordinator at Glyndebourne. The date was 16 March, 2020. In common with colleagues around the artistic world, the next few weeks saw a reasonably full diary transform into a vast expanse of empty notepaper marked by crossings-out and their associated hits on my ability to pay rent. The following 12 months, of course, is the subject of much more analysis that this little column can hope to summarise; there has, however, been evidence of the form that the artistic phoenix might take as it rises from its viral ashes . . .

Director Bruce Beresford with performers Eleanor Greenwood and Simon Meadows. Photo © Robin Halls for Melbourne Opera

It was, for many of us, the dichotomous reactions from the major opera houses that carried the first whispers of the changes that the COVID Times could usher in. While the two mightiest theatres in the opera firmament shuttered – Covent Garden was forced to ask artists already in...

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