Harold Prince has just turned 90 and is celebrating the 70th year of a career that has seen him change the shape of musical theatre as we know it. Prince challenged the convention of the musical as a light entertainment and transformed it into a serious art form. The legendary producer and director is the genius behind 41 shows including the landmarks West Side Story, Cabaret,  Fiddler on the Roof and Sweeney Todd. He has won a record 21 Tony Awards and his production of The Phantom of the Opera recently celebrated its 31st consecutive year in London, and its 30th on Broadway. Meanwhile, his original production of Evita is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Jansson J. Antmann talks to Prince during preparations for its September season at the Sydney Opera House.

Harold (Hal) Prince. Photograph supplied

At the age of eight, Harold Prince experienced a seminal moment in his life when he saw Orson Welles perform in Julius Caesar. I am eager to learn what he remembers of that Saturday matinee, so many years ago.

“It was my first experience with dynamic theatre – with minimalism and with an abundance of brilliant ideas and great performances. In...