Once More, With Feeling

I was really excited to get my tickets last week for the new opera season beginning in October. I was happy to see that one of the performances would be The Rabbit Barber of Seville and several other excellent works were planned.

As I've mentioned before, last year marked the opening of Toronto's new opera house, a world class venue with acoustics that are sublime. This herculean feat was accomplished through the hard work of scores of people but was most especially due to the tireless efforts of General Director of the Canadian Opera Company, visionary, and conductor extraordinaire Richard Bradshaw.

On Wednesday, Mr. Bradshaw passed away suddenly at the age of 63 from a heart attack. He was at the airport in the process of returning home from vacation. He leaves behind his wife, two children and a legacy for the ages.

I have no doubt that this will be a difficult season for the brilliant orchestra but know they will honour his memory and help us to make new ones.

My condolences go to Mr. Bradshaw's family and to the many others who have benefited and will continue to benefit from his vision.

The Flower Duet (mp3)


Beth said...

Oh, how sad for Mr. Bradshaw's family, for the family of Toronto, and for opera lovers everywhere. I'm sure this season will be especially meaningful for you, Dale.

chelene said...

That's awful. At least he was able to conduct in the new place for a season.

Bubs said...

You know, your crossed-out rabbit gave me an idea. Isn't it about time for someone to do a big musical production based on What's Opera Doc or Rabbit of Seville?

Chancelucky said...

Very sad story, Dale. Many years ago, the Oakland symphony found a dynamic young conductor who also happened to be African-American, Calvin Simmons. The level of the orchestra improved, supbscriptions were up, and then Calvin Simmons died in a canoeing accident at the age of 32.
I trust that Mr. Bradshaw will be remembered as leaving at a peak in his career.

Mob said...

That's terrible to hear. Hopefully the new house will always live on as something of a legacy to his commitment to the arts.

anandamide said...

They finally got the Opera house built in Toronto? I leave for five years and look what happens....

Sounds like a legacy anyone would be proud of....

Barbara Bruederlin said...

That's so sad; 63 is still very young. The arts community will certainly feel the loss.

At least he was on his way BACK from vacation.

julia said...

When I heard the announcement on CTV news, I gasped out loud, it was so shocking. Still letting it process through my mind. He was such a dynamo, it's hard to think of him as being stilled.

I wasn't able to get to Toronto for the Ring Cycle, but listened to it on the live broadcasts through CBC Radio. The whole thing was magnificent.

When I finally did get to Toronto for the opening of the ballet in the same theatre (I'm a complete ballet freak through and through) I couldn't believe the quality of the sound in that hall. I'd heard the same orchestra perform "Sleeping Beauty" probably two dozen times in the old theatre, but when they started up in the new one, I felt as if I'd never really heard it before. That realization of pure auditory beauty is the gift that Richard Bradshaw has given me for the rest of my days.

Tenacious S said...

That was a lovely tribute, Dale.

X. Dell said...

Hopefully, Bradshaw left behind a strong organization that can carry on. I'd hate to see such an institution fall into disarray because of the absence of a strong hand, but it happens sometimes.

Gledwood said...

I remember going to The Magic Flute .. I particularly enjoy that screamy high F in the Queen of the Night's aria... tho I have to say however well trained they are some of those singers do wobble a bit off key, know what I mean??
Great blog you got here... come to mine! http://gledwood2.blogspot.com is the place to be
Hope to see you there some day
All the best
"Vol 2" ...

pezda said...

There are too many people on this planet who waste their days doing nothing at all. Intently striving for mediocrity. Then there are beautiful, driven people, like Bradshaw, who, upon their passing, leave the world a darker place. It's good that he was able to accomplish all that he did.

gifted typist said...

Yes I read about that in the paper. I hope his legacy is strong enough to uphold the work he's done.

Andi said...

I'm sorry to hear this. It's always a tragedy when someone so active and important to the arts passes away.

Dale said...

It'll be strange Beth but I know that the orchestra and whoever shows up to help will be made welcome.

It is awful Chelene but yes, thankfully he had one great season there.

They've mined just about everything else Bubs. It would be wascally good fun.

So much tragedy, so little time huh Chancelucky? He's been making headlines worldwide so for that I'm glad, his importance can't be underestimated.

It will live on Mob, if only he could have too.

If only you'd left sooner Anandamide. And then come back of course.

That's what I thought Barbara! On all counts.

The sound quality is just stunning isn't it Julia? It's a gift he gave many. Maybe it's time I hit the ballet again although I do always wish one of them would burst into song. Your post was very personal and touching.

Thanks Tenacious S. He was such a force, he'll be so missed.

He hadn't groomed a successor X. Dell but I hope the same thing, that the workings are strong enough to continue to amaze us all.

From what I've read Gledwood, you've done your share of wobbling yourself! :-)

Well said Pezda, a light has definitely gone out.

So do I Gifted Typist.

To make such a difference and then to be gone, very sad Andi.

jewgirl said...

I just love your passion for opera.

I'm sorry about Mr. Bradshaw's death. Oy, it is so very sad.

Dale said...

I wish I could take a year off and just do opera tours everywhere Katie and drown in the stuff.