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Leeds Lieder Festival: Guest of Honour

in conversation with John Bridcut. Followed by the documentary film: ‘Janet Baker: In Her Own Words’

More than thirty years after her retirement, Dame Janet Baker, one of Britain’s greatest classical singers of the 20th century, shares her thoughts on the challenges and opportunities in Lieder singing ‘In Conversation’ with John Bridcut, followed by a special screening of his documentary film ‘Janet Baker: In Her Own Words’. In this, she talks more openly and emotionally than ever before about her voice, her career and her life today. With excerpts of her greatest stage roles (Dido, Mary Stuart, Julius Caesar and Orpheus), as well as of her appearances in the concert hall and recording studio (works by Handel, Berlioz, Schubert, Elgar, Britten and Mahler), she looks back at the excitements and pitfalls of public performance. Dame Janet tells the film-maker John Bridcut about the traumatic loss of her elder brother when she was only ten years old, and how that experience coloured her voice and her artistry. She explains why she felt the need to retire early some thirty years ago, and discusses the challenges she and her husband had to face in old age. Among the other contributors to the film are the conductors Raymond Leppard, Jane Glover and André Previn, the singers Joyce DiDonato and Dame Felicity Lott, the opera producer John Copley, the pianist Dame Imogen Cooper, and the actress Dame Patricia Routledge.