Out West Arts: Performance at the end of the world

Opera, music, theater, and art in Los Angeles and beyond

How Can I Repay You?

July 14, 2010


I, too, am profoundly saddened by the reports of the death of Sir Charles Mackerras. As Lisa Hirsch points out, he was a musician with a long list of accomplishments, but perhaps none so towering as turning Leos Janacek from a beloved regional composer into one of the towering figures of 20th-Century opera. He issued new editions of Janacek’s major operatic works and championed them at first in English, and later in the composer’s own beautiful native language. I’ll admit my bias – these works are among some of my favorites, and hearing Mackerras conduct Jenufa and Katya Kabanova are some of my favorite operatic memories. And, even though I never got the chance to hear him lead The Cunning Little Vixen (which Mackerras is conducting in the clip above), it is certain that without his work and advocacy, the daunting beauty of this opera would still be unknown to me. And how do you thank someone for bringing art like that into your life? I don’t know, but thank you Sir Charles. You will be terribly missed.


He was god. I was lucky enough to be a supernumerary in a few productions at the San Francisco Opera when he was conducting and it was frankly overwhelming. Besides being the greatest non-Czech Janacek conductor in history, and the great popularizer of that composer, as you've mentioned, he also worked with Britten at Aldeburgh for years and his recording of "Gloriana" with Josephine Barstow is frankly mindblowing. You listen to it and wonder why the piece isn't in the repertory everywhere.
"And how do you thank someone for bringing art like that into your life?"

So very, very true.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?



Opera Reviews '10-'11

Opera Reviews '09-'10

Opera Reviews '06-'09

L.A. Phil Reviews '09/'10

L.A. Phil Reviews '08/'09

L.A. Theater Reviews


Follow Along


Los Angeles

Follow me on Twitter