Opera director Graham Vick dies of COVID complications at 67

Vick was born in 1953 in Birkenhead, North West England, and was a pioneer in bringing opera to the people. As a production manager at Scottish Opera in the 1980s, he toured productions in remote communities. After founding a company in England’s second largest city, Birmingham, in 1987, he staged operas in unusual locations such as factories, warehouses and nightclubs.

“In Birmingham we go out and find our audience, meet them on their own soil,” Vick said in a speech in 2016. He believes that “you don’t have to be brought up to be touched, moved and excited by opera .

Vick was production manager at the Glyndebourne Opera Festival in England from 1994 to 2000 and has directed for leading ensembles such as the New York Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera in London and La Scala in Milan. He was known for his bold, innovative staging of both traditional and modern works.

Vick was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II earlier this year for his services to the opera and the British regions.

On Sunday tributes came from opera houses around the world. La Scala said in a statement that he was “one of the most important figures in contemporary directing, a maestro who is able to reveal the power of the scores he staged and rediscover their ability to question and move audiences” .

The Royal Opera said Vick was “a true innovator in the way he put the community at the heart of the opera and will be greatly missed”.

Mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly tweeted that COVID-19 “has claimed one of the greatest opera and theater directors of our time. A great electroplater, innovator and he has lived life to the fullest. “

(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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