Happy birthday to the wizard of Oz

[Times Online, 11 November 2005]
He’s been wielding a baton for half a century. Richard Morrison salutes Sir Charles Mackerras
Nobody would have expected anything else. On his 80th birthday, on Thursday, Sir Charles Mackerras will be doing what he has done supremely well for six decades. Conducting something. As it happens, it will be Verdiís Un ballo in maschera at Covent Garden, where he first waved his baton 50 years ago. But if it hadnít been that, it would have been Jan·cek in New York, or Mozart in Berlin. ìMy wife says Iím only happy standing in front of an orchestra,î he says. ìItís a bit of an exaggeration. But I donít know how much longer Iíve got.î