Sir Charles

I extend my condolences to the family of Sir Charles Mackerras (1925-2010) who passed away earlier today in London. The condolences also extend to the musical world where the loss will be surely felt for a long time to come. Happily, we have numerous musical memories to cherish and revisit in the legacy of recordings he created over his vast and varied career.

My only experience with him was a heavenly Don Giovanni at the Royal Opera a few years ago, and it was musical nirvana for me. I learned a great deal and felt deeply honored to be able to explore Mozart’s Masterpiece with him. I was looking forward SO very much to performing Idomeneo with him this coming August, and his absence will be difficult to overcome, but it will be an honor to dedicate the performance to him.

May your rest in beautiful peace, Sir Charles. Thank you for all that gave to the world!


  1. philip.connolly said…

    While undoubtedly a great opera conductor, it's that fantastic 1955 (?) recording of the Handel FireWorks music with 30+ oboes and 20+ bassoons, etc that really stands outs for me.

    A young man, he got the cream of London's musicians to record through the night. And what a noise they make. Punk baroque.

    Fantastic, RIP Sir Charles

  2. Kenderina said…

    The same Don Giovanni was also my first experience live with him…it was such a fantastic performance in every sense that it's one I will treasure forever. It was such a joy to see him having a great time at the pit !

    We'll miss you, Sir Charles !

  3. Mr. Classical Guy said…

    How much less wonderful the world is now. His Mozart Symphonies set for Telarc was sine qua non! And all of the opera in English recordings were amazing

    Bon Voyage Sir Charles


  4. Georgios said…

    Oh this is such sad news! But he has indeed left a wonderful legacy that we can all treasure for ever. His tiredless work in promoting central European opera composers was one of his greatest successes. His recordings of Janacek's operas are incredible and a great leading light for any future interpreters.
    May he rest in peace and his family cope with their huge loss

  5. Chris said…

    I was able to see a review of your performance with Florez on the 12th. It was a photograph of a page from the Corriere della Serra on the Opera Chic blog. Although the blog focused on Florez, it described you as a "delicious singer" and your performance full of "charm, irony, delicacy, in addition to an exemplary coloratura technique". So a great triumph for sure. Was this your first at La Scala?

  6. Sarah said…

    I missed this (have been out of it for a few days). How terribly sad for the music world. It seems that he has been so generous always to young and eager singers like you and Danielle de Niese. I'm going to have to explore his legacy more, both of Mozart and of Dvorak and other Czech composers. I am sure you were greatly looking forward to the Idomeneo experience with him. Keep in mind all that you learned from him!

  7. Rachel Cooper said…

    Unbelievably, I am reading these for first time as I wait for repairs today, and guess who was on BBC3 program today? Sir Charles! Quelle coincidence!

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