Cultural Life: Ian Bostridge, tenor

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The Independent Culture

Music

A concert of Vaughan Williams and Peter Warlock given by my friends Mark Padmore, tenor, Nick Daniel, oboe and Julius Drake, piano.

Television

All the old Oliver Postgate stuff – 'Bagpuss', 'The Clangers', 'Ivor the Engine' – with my children.

Books

Richard Evans' masterpiece 'Death in Hamburg', as cholera research for a production of Britten's 'Death in Venice' and 'Vanity Fair' – I've been in Brussels where the great pre-Waterloo scene is set.

Film

'The Big Sleep' with Bogart and Bacall, who are matchless. Impossible to follow the plot, but compelling and some great lines. Of one of the villains, Bogart says: "He'd punch my teeth out and then kick me in the stomach for mumbling."

Theatre/opera

The gifted short-story writer and novelist Simon Robson was a charismatic aviator in 'The Little Prince' at the Hampstead Theatre over Christmas.

Visual arts

The 16th-century painter Luis de Morales, and his mysterious 'Birth of the Virgin'. Velasquez's 'Bacchus' with a follower in a hat straight out of Manet, staring out at us.

'Schubert: Schwanengesang' is out now on EMI Classics

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