“Jonathan Miller, the British theater and opera director known for his radical restagings of classic works, died on Wednesday at his home in London. He was 85,” writes Benedict Nightingale in Wednesday’s (11/27) New York Times. “Mr. Miller … first achieved fame as an actor in the anti-establishment revue ‘Beyond the Fringe.’ … He went on to win acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic for his productions of Verdi’s ‘Rigoletto,’ Gilbert and Sullivan’s ‘Mikado’ and other works. He also produced and hosted television shows. Most unusually, he was a medical doctor, with a special interest in neurology; he occasionally left the theater to practice medicine…. Mr. Miller’s theatrical career began at Cambridge University, where he studied science but was also, as he put it, ‘tripped up’ by comedy. [In the U.S. ] between performances at the Golden Theater on Broadway, he wrote movie reviews for The New Yorker, wrote and directed scripts for American television…. His production of Leoš Janáček’s opera ‘The Cunning Little Vixen’ at Glyndebourne in 1975 [established] him as a serious director of opera in addition to drama.” Miller subsequently directed landmark productions at leading opera houses in the U.S. and Europe.
Posted December 3, 2019