David Pountney is one of the most prolific directors of all time. His Janáček cycle for The Scottish Opera is still considered one of the major landmarks in the history of opera. A Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and a recipient of Cavalier’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland, Pountney received a Knighthood in 2019. He has repeatedly revolutionised opera, notably during his decade-long run as the Intendant of The Bregenz Festival and as Artistic Director of the Welsh National Opera from 2011 until last year.

In March, Pountney’s long-awaited staging of the complete RingCycle for the Lyric Opera in Chicago was cancelled when the global pandemic struck just before the opening of the final work in Wagner’s tetralogy, Götterdämmerung. In what was going to be one of his busiest years, Pountney did not let the lockdown get the better of him. In fact, he remained as prolific as ever. Not only did he write an ecologically themed fairy-tale for his grandson, but he also created the librettos for two new operas, the first of which is titled A Feast in...