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Part of the retribution justly falls on their children; part, of course, on themselves. Your father, I venture to say, often envied the life of the domestic animals on the station where he had selected. But he aimed at independence— independence!

A fine word, Mary, but a poor reality. This idea of independence is much too common amongst people who, however poorly they may fare, are nevertheless better fed than taught.

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I'm afraid you wilfully overlook the religious side of the question, Mary; the divine command to do our duty in that state of life in which it has pleased God to call us. Service is honourable"—— Here Ida sobbed out something that sounded like a rejoinder; and there was a harder ring in the lady's voice as she continued, without pausing: I was only wishing to show you what a tempting of Providence it is for people of the lower classes to have notions above what their Maker intends for them.

And you know how prone you are to forget your place—as you did this morning. Susan has the same fault, I'm sorry to say; but I condone it to some extent in her. She has the advantage of good looks, and naturally expects to better her condition by marriage; but surely, Mary, one glance at yourself in the glass ought to show you the impropriety of counting upon any endowment of nature.

No doubt it was good policy to transport yourself to a locality where the males of your own class are in such large majority; but the movement is still attended by certain disadvantages. A female whose looks approach repulsiveness should, at least, have a character beyond suspicion; and for any woman to run away from the neighbourhood where her doings are known, is not the way to inspire confidence.

And though it has pleased God, for your own good, to remove the snare of beauty far from you, yet——Well, we must believe what we hear on good authority. Your master, before engaging you, should have made some inquiry regarding your antecedents, and not have left these things to leak-out. I wish I could hold you guiltless, Mary.

Ask your own conscience whether you were justified in obtaining entry to an establishment like this. It places me in a very difficult"—— Here Ida turned, and, with blazing, tearless eyes, fearlessly fronted her fellow-mammal.

The latter faltered, and paused. She had gone a step too far, and had trod on the lion's tail. I'll make you prove your words, as sure as you're standin' there.

Well, we'll both go straight to Mrs. Montgomery—she's your missus as well as mine, she is—an' we'll git her to write to a dozen people that knows me since I wasn't as high as that windy-sill.

I'll make it hot for you, Mrs. Bodyzart, so I will. An' I won't leave the apartment to please you, so I won't! Think God made me for the likes o' you to wipe your feet on?

Think I bin behavin' myself decent all my life, for you to put a slur on me? If I wanted to bemean myself, could n't I cast up somethin' you would n't like to be minded of? Ain't you ashamed o' yourself, you ole she-devil? I trust you will overlook her rudeness. She knows no better. I bin full up o' your nag-nag ever since I come to this house: I ain't goin' to let this drop. Whilst she remains in this establishment, I must continue to shield her from the penalties to which she insists upon exposing herself.

Come, Mary; dry your eyes, and attend to your duties. The time is coming when you will thank me for the discipline to which you are now subjected. Beaudesart retired, greater in defeat than in victory. Beaudesart in your goodwill," remarked young Mooney gravely. It was Priestley, a bullock driver who had drawn up to the store on the previous-evening; a decent sort of vulgarian, but altogether too industrious to get any further forward than the extreme tail-end of his profession.

Some carriers never learn the great lesson, that to everything there is a time and a season—a time for work, and a time for repose—hence you find the industrious man's inveterately leg-weary set of frames in hopeless competition with the judiciously lazy man's string of daisies. The contrast is sickening.

Moreover, the same rule holds fairly well throughout the whole region of industry. But the Scotch-navigator can't see it. He is too furiously busy for eighteen hours out of the twenty-four to notice that, even in the most literal sense, loafing has a more intimate connection with bread-winning than working can possibly have. Such a man finds himself born unto trouble, as the sparks fly in all directions; but he is merely aware of undergoing a chastening process, just as the tethered calf is aware that he always turns a flying somersault when he impetuously charges in any direction away from his peg; and this simply because the man knows as much about the Order of Things as the calf knows about Euclid's definition of a radial line.

The fact is, that the Order of Things—rightly understood— is not susceptible of any coercion whatever, and must be humoured in every possible way. In the race of life, my son, you must run cunning, reserving your sprint for the tactical moment. In consequence of being always at work, he could get very little work done; and, being pursuantly in a chronic state of debt and destitution, he got only the work that intermittently slothful men would n't take at the price.

It is scarcely necessary to add that he had a wife and about thirteen small children, mostly girls. Say, Moriarty; I'm waitin' to git that bit o' loadin' off. See, I could make the Fog-a-bolla Tank to-night; an' there's boun' to be a bit o' blue-bush, if not crows-foot, on them sand-hills. Then I'd fetch Nalrookar to-morrow, easy. I got two-ton-five for there; an' I'm thinkin' I'll have a job to deliver it, if I can't git through your run.

What do you think, chaps? See, if I got to turn roun', an' foller the main track back agen to the Cane-grass Swamp, an' take the Nalrookar track from there, I won't fetch the station much short o' fifty mile; an' there ain't a middlin' camp the whole road. Everythin' et right into the ground.

For instance, when Baxter and Donovan delivered that well-timber in the Quondong Paddock, the other day, they were n't five mile from the main road—and a gate to go through—but he made them come right back by the station; thirty mile of a roundabout; and their cheques were n't forthcoming till they did it.

No, Priestley; to ask Montgomery is simply to get a refusal; and to argue with him is simply to get insulted. I couldn't crush a poor, decent, hard-working devil like that. I'd give him a thorough good blackguarding for calculating upon crossing the run; and then, as a matter of form, I'd send a man with him, to see him across.

Well, I suppose we must go and get our mot d' ordre, boys. The four narangies, with the practical M'Murdo, went to the veranda of the boss's house for their day's orders; Moriarty, with a ring of keys in his hand, sauntered across to the store; and I managed to drag myself out to a seat built against the south side of the barracks, whence I torpidly surveyed the scene around, whilst listening to my vitality whistling out through four million yawning pores.

In an open shed, near the store—where two tribesmen were now assisting Priestley to unload—a travelling saddler and Salvationist, named without a word of a lie Joey Possum, was at work on the horse-furniture of the station; his tilted wagonette, blazoned with his name and title, Joseph Pawsome Saddler, standing close by. Watching these lewd fellows of the baser sort at their sordid toil, my mind reverted to certain incidents of the preceding night, and so drifted into a speculation on the peculiar kind of difficulties which at certain times beset certain sojourners on the rind of this third primary orb.

The incidents, of course, have nothing to do with my story. But as the mere mention of them may have whetted the reader's curiosity, I suppose it is only fair to satisfy him. The night in question seemed, from an astrological point of view, to be peculiarly favourable to the ascendancy of baleful influences.

The moon hung above the western horizon, in her most formidable phase—just past the semicircle, with her gibbous edge malignantly feathered. Being now in the House of Taurus, she had overborne the benignant sway of Aldebaran, and was pressing hard on Castor and Pollux in the House of Gemini. Also, her horizontal attitude was so full of menace that Rigel and Betelgeux in Orion seemed to wilt under her sinister supremacy.

Sirius in Canis Majorstrongest and most malevolent of the astral powers, hung southwest of the zenith, reinforcing the evil bias of the time, and thus, from his commanding position, overruling the guardianship of Canopus in Argosouth-west of the same point. Lower still, toward the south, Achernar seemed to reserve his gracious prestige, whilst, across the invisible Pole, the beneficent constellations of Crux and Centaurus exhibited the very paralysis of hopelessness.

Worst of all, Jupiter and Mars both held aloof, whilst ascendant Saturn mourned in the House of Cancer. Such was the wretched aspect of the heavens to my debilitated intelligence, as I slunk home from the swimming-hole, toward midnight.

I was somewhat comforted to observe in Procyon a firmness which I attributed to the evident support of Regulus in the House of Leo ; but the most reassuring element in an extremely baleful horoscope was Spica in the House of Virgoscarcely affected by the moon's interference, and now ascending confidently from the eastern horizon.

Still, to my washed-out mind, there was something so hopeless in the lunar and stellar outlook that, for comfort, I turned my eyes toward the station cemetery, which was dimly in view.

There several shapeless forms, some white, and others of neutral hue, seemed to be moving slowly and silently amongst the dwellings of the dead, as if holding what you could scarcely call a carnival, in their own sombre way.

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The time, the place, the supermundane conditions, acting together on a half-drowned mind, gave to the whole scene a weird reality which writing cannot convey; so, after pinching myself to make sure I was awake, and doing a small sum in mental arithmetic to verify my sanity, I advanced toward the perturbed spirits, got them against the sky, and identified them as cattle, greedily stevedoring the long, dry grass.

It seemed a pity to turn the poor hungry animals out; yet I knew that somebody would have to suffer for it if Montgomery knew of anything trespassing here. But how had they got in, through seven wires—the upper one barbed—with rabbit-netting along the bottom? Good job it's on'y you. They 're as regular as clockwork on this station. How did you get in?

I'll leave that all straight. Course, they'll see the tracks by-'n'-by, an' know who to blame; but I'll be clear by that time; an' I must guard agen comin' in contract with Runnymede till the st—nk blows off o' this transaction. Natural enough, Magomery'll buck; but the ration-paddick's as bare as a stockyard; an' I can't ast the bullocks to die o' starvation.

Mind, it's only four hours till daylight. Nearing this building, I heard a suppressed commotion inside, followed by soothing gibberish, in a very low voice. Priestley's bullocks were within easy view; and Jerry, the groom, was a notorious master's man. I must have a friendly yarn with him.

Pawsome, silently caressing one of the greys, moved to the lattice on hearing my voice. All the lights was out two hours ago, an' I med sure everybody was safe. I've only been down for a swim. Now the night, replete with such sphere-music, was past, and the cares that infest the day had returned to everyone on the station, except myself and two or three equally clean, useless, and aristocratic loafers in the boss's house.

Toby, the half-caste, was cantering away toward Clarke's, for the weekly mail. Priestley, at his wagon, was bullocking even more desperately than usual, with a view to getting out of sight of the station as soon as possible. Pawsome, repairing a side-saddle, on his extemporised bench, was softly crooning a familiar hymn, the sentiment of which seemed appropriate to himself, whilst the language breathed the very aroma of his social atmosphere: In the veranda of the house, Mr.

Folkestone, a young English gentleman of not less than two hundred-weight, lolled on a hammock, smoking a chibouque, and reading a magazine; while straight between us two aristocratic loafers, Vandemonian Jack, aged about a century, was mechanically sawing firewood in the hot, sickly sunshine.

This is one of the jobs that it takes a man of four or five score years to perform ungrudgingly; and, to any illuminated mind, the secret of these old fellows' greatness is very plain. Bathing, though an ancient heresy, has been of strictly local prevalence, and, for the best of reasons, of transient continuance. Our relapse belongs to the present generation. Though our better-class grandsires understood no science unconnected with the gloves, a marvellous instinct taught them the unwholesomeness of sluicing away that panoply of dirt which is Nature's own defence against the microbe of imbecility, and which, indeed, was the only armour worn by the formidable Berserkers, from whom some of them claimed descent.

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We have done it however at least, we say sowhilst our social inferiors have held on to the old-time religion at least, we say so, here again ; wherefore—— "I say, Mr. Collins," faltered Ida, breaking in on my reflections, "I picked up this little buckle aside o' your b—d; it's come off o' the back o' your tr—rs. I'll sew it on for you any time, for I notice you're bothered with them slippin' down.

Bodyzart wicked to put a slur on me like that? There ain't one word o' truth in it; I'd say the same if I was to die to-night; an' you may believe me or believe me not, but I'm tellin' the truth. Far be it, indeed! Beaudesart's watching you from the window, over there. Did you feed Pup this morning? Now go away, dear, and don't come fooling about me, or you'll give her liberty to talk. I must give this life over, I thought; and I will give it over; an I do not, I am a villain.

After all, there are not two sides to this question; there is only one; and you may trust an overclean man to be an authority on the evil effects of bathing, upon mind, body, and estate; just as the grogbibber is our highest authority on headaches, fantods, and bankruptcy. The Spartans so ran my reflections were as much addicted to dirt as the Sybarites to cleanliness; and just compare the two communities. It is the Turkish bath that has made the once-formidable Ottoman Empire the sick man of Europe.

Latifundia perdidere Italian Large estates ruined Italy. Blame it on the large estates. Would a large estate ruin you? Bathing did the business for Italy, as it does the business for all its victims. If Rome had left to the soft Capuan his baths and his perfumes, she would have pulled-through. But think of the polished Roman debating the question of survival with the superlatively dirty barbarian of the North! And just compare your strigula-polished Roman, morally and physically, with his contemporary, the filth-encrusted anchorite of the Thebaid—the former flickering briefly in a puerile, semi-vital way, and going out with a sulphurous smell; the latter, on a ration of six dates per week, attaining an interminable longevity, and possessing the power of striking scoffers dead, or blind, or paralytic, at pleasure.

And, talking of hermits—do you think Peter of Picardy could have launched the muscular Christianity of Western Europe against the less muscular, because cleaner, Islamism of Western Asia, but for his well-advertised vow, never to change his clothes, nor wash himself, till his contract should be completed?

Prouder in his rags than the Emperor in his purple! Or take the first Teutonic Emperor of Rome—conqueror, arbitrator, legislator, and what not. In those middle ages, you know, it was the custom to name monarchs from some peculiarity of person or habitude—and I put it to any reasonable soul; Was this mere Yarman Brince likely to have become the central figure of the 10th century, but for such rigid abstinence from external application of water as is implied in the significant name of Otto the Great?

Indeed, the most sweepingly appropriate bestowal of the title, 'Great,' is made when we refer to the adherents of the dirt-cult, collectively, as the Great Unwashed. Johnson's biographies lovingly preserve the personal habits of most of the loftiest and sweetest poets that ever trod English soil; and think what a large percentage of those Muse-invokers, according to their historian, carried a fair quantity of that soil perennially on their hides.

And speaking of the Diogenes of Fleet Street himself, we know, on good authority, that his antipathy to the Order of the Bath caused him to appeal to more senses than one. He was another Otto the Great. The original Diogenes, by the way, revelled in dirt, as well as in wisdom. And the mighty scholar, Porson, as you may remember, never needed to wash, because he never perspired. Yet in spite of this cloud of witness, and in the face of our own experience, we will entice external leakage of such incipient greatness as we have—soaking ourselves in water, as if we were possums, and our virility a eucalyptus flavour that we sought to dissipate.

Look at myself—now a king; now thus! And yet I was once like our Otto and Co.! Before touching the forbidden thing, I felt as if I wanted to pursue an inspiring, if purposeless, journey up uncomfortable Alpine heights, with my Excelsior-banner in my hand, and a tear in my solitary bright blue eye; now, the maiden's invitation seems to be the only part of the enterprise that has any pith in it.

Then, I gloried in the fiendish adage of, 'Two hours' sleep for a man, three for a woman, and four for a fool'; now, my livelist ambition is to gaze my fill on yon calm deep, then, like an infant, sink asleep on this form, and so remain till dinner-time—lunch-time, I should say; belonging, as I do, to the better classes.

Then, I was like Hotspur on his crop-eared roan; now, I merely wish the desert were my dwelling-place, with one fair Spirit for my minister. To confess the truth, I note a certain weak glimmer of self-righteousness investing the thought that I would be content with one fair Spirit. Got to, go to! By virtue, thou enforcest laughter. But to put a slur on me like that! I leave it to your own self, Mr. Beaudesart's own business, not yours.

Why, if she charged me with stooping to folly, I would merely say, 'Sorry to undeceive you, ma'am; but I've been too much given to letting 'I dare not' wait upon 'I would,' like the poor bandicoot i' the adage. I've held communion with the Unfathomable, and watched the exfoliation of the Inscrutable; and, you know, these things are altogether beyond the orbit of the girl-mind.

Now clear off, like a good fellow, and let me read the papers. I also longed for the opinion of my mighty pipe on the dirt-question; but that faithful ally was packed among my things, forty feet away, and it might as well have been forty miles.

So I just lay on the seat, clean, frail, and inert, as a recumbent statue, moulded in blanc-mange; whilst the ancient t'other-sider oscillated his frame-saw, and the pious Pawsome lightened his toil with selections from Sankey, and the perspiring Priestley hurried up his bullocks from the ration-paddock, and Sling Muck, the gardener, used his hoe among the callots and cabbagee, with the automatic stroke of a man brought up to one holiday per annum, and no Sunday. Meanwhile, the unreturning sands of Life dribbled through the unheeded isthmus of the Present Moment; and the fixed cone of the Past expanded; and the dimple deepened in the diminished and hurrying Future.

Nevertheless, I collected the wreckage of what had been very fair faculties, and attempted to grapple with an idea which Ida's conversation had suggested. Finding this impossible, I made a mental memo. Your attention will be drawn to the circumstance in due season. At mid-day, the bell sounded from the hut. Pawsome and the tribesmen quitted their work, and went to dinner.

Priestley had started an hour before, bound for Nalrooka, with the remaining half of his load. All the Levites, except Moriarty, were out on the run, but Martin, the head boundary rider, had timed himself for lunch.

This man's status was a vexed question. He certainly rated—but did he rate high enough for the barracks?

As head boundary man, decidedly not; but as recent proprietor of a small station absorbed by Runnymede, he was not destitute of pretensions. Out in the open air, he was, of course, as good as any Levite, but——Well, though we rather resented his presence in the Inner Court, we yielded him the benefit of the doubt; and he took that benefit, just as if he had been born in the purple, like ourselves.

Martin was an Orangeman of rank. He had attained the Black Degree. It was whispered that he held all the loyal brethren of Riverina under the whip, by reason of his being the only man in the region beyond the Murrumbidgee who could confer the Purple Degree.

For, owing to an inherent haziness in the theses and aims of Orangeism, there are Orders in the Society as hard to attain as those German university degrees which no man ever took and had his eyesight perfect afterward; though, to be sure, there is a certain difference in the relative value of the two species of attainment. Moriarty—whose front name was Felix—was, if anything, a Catholic; and, partly on this account, partly on account of his being a young fellow, and partly on account of Miss King, the governess, Martin set him.

Now, there was just one man within a hundred miles who knew less of Irish History than Martin, and that man was Moriarty; consequently, the two jostled each other as they rushed into that branch of learning where scholars fear to tread—each repeatedly appealing to me for confirmation of his outlandish myths and clumsy fabrications. I listlessly confirmed anything and everything.

Having lost all mental, as well as physical, energy where King John lost his regalia, namely, in the Wash, the line of least resistance was the line for me. After a hearty lunch, I made my way back to the seat against the wall, while Moriarty lounged across to the store, and Martin went to speak to the High Priest at the door of the Sanctum Sanctorum.

Then Martin mounted his horse, and rode away; and presently the tribesman, Jerry, brought a buggy and pair to the front door. Montgomery and Folkestone—the latter in knickerbockers—took their seats in the buggy, and whirled away down the horse-paddock fence. Then all was still, save for the faint pling-plong of a piano in the Holy of Holies.

Whom have we here? Moriarty to disturb me. It is meat and drink to me to see a clown; by my faith, we that have good wits have much to answer for; we shall be flouting; we cannot hold. Slipped away like a snake, while you're looking round for a stick.

Singular how a person can't remember a thing for the life of them, when once they forget it; and suddenly it crops up of its own accord when you're not thinking of it.

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Beggar conceitedness; beggar everything. I wish I was about forty. That Martin wants a lift under the ear. I wish Toby was back with the mail. I hope he'll forget to ask for your letters. Beggar such a life as this. At it, early and late; working through accounts, and serving-out rations, and one thing or another; and no more chance of distinguishing myself than if I was in jail.

I can't stand it much longer, and what's more, I won't. I wish the mail was in. I've got a presentiment of something good this time. If you don't speculate, you won't accumulate, as the saying is; and if a man can't make a rise by some sort of gambling, he may as well lie down and die, straight-off. But the first rise is the difficulty; and, of course, you've got to take the risk. There's a great future sticking out for a fellow, if he's got his head screwed on right.

Well, what shall it be? Fine opening for an inventive genius there—but you must be up and doing, as the poet says. Then why not take up some interesting study, and work it out from post to finish? Political Economy, for instance? Take a narrow branch of some scientific study, and restrict yourself to that. The name is plural.

It embraces all the different species of ants. That sort of study would about suit you. Fat lot of distinction a person could get out of ants. You've got all the working, plant ready in your office. In fact, I'm too dash lazy. I haven't been there for the last month. I'd go to-night if I had a horse.

He would distinguish himself in one direction. The material is there. I'll make things hum yet. Do you know—I stand to win twenty-four notes on the regatta, besides my chance of the station sweep on the big Flemington, let alone private bets. We'll get news of both events to-day; and I have a presentiment of something good.

I wish Toby was here! I've plunged too heavy—there's no doubt about that—but I did it with the best intention. I made sure of scooping; and, for that matter, I make sure of it still. But whatever you do, don't begin to preach about the evils of gambling—not now, Collins; not till after we get news of these events.

Darwin's Nightmare, directed by Hubert Sauper, for using reality to paint a nightmare. Nitin Sawhney, musician Photograph: Frank Baron We saw a lot of Asian artists getting radio play: It could have been Islamophobia, or a wider culture of fear, or just record companies not wanting to take risks. AR Rahman's soundtrack to Slumdog Millionaire changed this to some degree in I had an incredible 10 years.

One of my best moments was meeting Nelson Mandela inwhen I was travelling round the world doing research for my album Prophesy. I recorded him saying, "We're free to be free", and included it on the album. I also had an amazing jam session one day: I was looking at them thinking: They're brilliant live, yet their album music also has energy and drive. Thom Yorke's voice has incredible emotional power. But I released my first album, Diamond in the Rough, on it, and I'm proud of that.

Being able to see Grace Jones perform was the musical high of my decade. I grew up watching her. Meeting her was like: Albums of the decade: Martin Godwin The films that grabbed me seemed to come from nowhere: In the US, the independent section was the strongest.

But the studios now think the economics of the specialty division don't stack up. So it's in limbo. British cinema has had quite a healthy decade. I witnessed a lot of female directors making great films — Jane CampionAndrea Arnold — as well as some brilliant directors who came through and went to the US, like Kevin Macdonald and Paul Greengrass.

I've had a big transition, going from TV to film, having started the decade doing Cold Feet. Producing The Queen was a phenomenal entrance to cinema. I had a lot of faith in it even if, in the UK, everyone thought it was a TV film. In the rest of the world, there was an instant appetite for it.

Still, I never thought we'd end up going to the Oscars with it. Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mindfor its sheer invention and exuberance, visual flair and great soundtrack. Monica Mason, director of the Royal Ballet Photograph: InI was asked to be caretaker director.

I discovered — though I was a little loath to admit it — that I loved being in the driving seat. By December I was appointed director. I have two personal highlights: There was such a sense of competition — both choreographers really wanted to make their pieces work.

Sadler's Wells theatre has made a real impact. But it's been a decade of loss as well as gain, and many wonderful people have died: It felt as if dance had come of age.

Arlene Phillips, choreographer Photograph: Then in the first series, Natasha Kaplinsky and Brendan Cole did a paso doble that gave me goosebumps; that night I got so many messages from people who felt the same way. Strictly reaches into the homes of millions.

And when those people go out in search of dance, they come across different styles, different classes; but they also discover where to go and see dance. Suddenly dance was reaching everyone — through ballroom dance, of all things. It was big in the 70s and 80s, but then it seemed to die a death. Now it's back, and it's brilliant. I think we're open to a wider range of forms.

Being on Strictly, working on The Sound of Music, joining the board of Sadler's Wells — I've always been part of the wider world of dance. As I enter each new decade I think: Each time I see it, it makes me fall in love with dance all over again. But he hadn't yet seen my own work, so I invited him to a festival in Newcastle, where I was due to go on after Rosemary Lee.

At the last minute she cancelled, leaving a room full of promoters who were there for her. But afterwards there was a queue of them saying: From that one minute solo, Farooq and I booked a year of touring. After that, I was much more in the public eye. Even though Ma and in-Ipictured left were less well-received, they were pivotal for me because I put myself out of my depth.

Ma was the first time I tried storytelling with words. With in-I, I had to let go of myself as a dancer; I was working with Juliette Binoche, who was a blank canvas in terms of dance technique. I see a lot more collaborative work now: But contemporary dance is still marginalised. It's changing, through choreographers like Wayne McGregor, but it should be more in the mainstream.

You forgot whether either was theatre or dance: John Eliot Gardiner, conductor Photograph: Sarah Lee Two Proms in illustrated classical music's changing landscape: The interaction was amazing. There was a bombshell of energy coming from a South African group — yet it played with the elegance and sophistication of a fully professional orchestra.

We've also seen, thankfully, the breakdown of the barriers that existed between the so-called "authentic" movement and the mainstream, and there are all sorts of exciting developments in music theatre. The trailblazers who go into schools and communities and foster a passion for classical music. Those who hire fashionable or untested theatre and film directors who consider their interpretations of operas to be superior or more "relevant" than those whose work they often supplant and traduce.

Sarah Connolly, opera singer Photograph: Christopher Thomond Julius Caesar at Glyndebourne in was the show that put me on the map, as well as my co-star Danielle de Niese. It's a role I wanted to sing first in German — a tough but rewarding experience. As for new operas, Harrison Birtwistle's Minotaur was one of the decade's best. It was an extraordinary exploration of fear, like watching a Greek passion play.

Director David McVicar, who puts his all into making the composer and librettist's vision come to life. The marketing men at giant record companies. The way they package crossover music seems deliberately confusing. I'd never knock the Three Tenors — they were phenomenally talented, but they've spawned a load of inferior imitators.

Linda Nylind The big story has been the removal of boundaries: Ten years ago, there was something like a traditional audience and an alternative audience; now, you feel there is no homogeneous audience.

Everyone has been much more enthusiastic about venturing outside their comfort zones.

Felix and Murdo

A theatre-maker like Punchdrunk's Felix Barrett, who might once have made exquisite little shows for the cognoscenti, has been able to make an enormous impact with Faust in a warehouse in east London, then come to the National and direct a play by Tom Stoppard.

The barricades aren't manned any more. I've spent most of the decade as director of the National: