I was very sorry to learn, today, that Richard Bradshaw, conductor, artistic director, and general director of the Canadian Opera Company, died last night of a heart attack. I only became familiar with him last fall when he brought us Canada’s first complete Ring Cycle in Canada’s first opera house, which he was instrumental in building. As I reported at the time, the whole production was very well received, with the highest praise going to Bradshaw’s conducting and to the building itself.
As I read more about his contributions to the arts in his adopted country, I am aware of what a great loss this is, but what a blessing it is that we had him as long as we did. Originally from the UK, he knew what Canada was missing and did his best to raise the profile of the arts here. Just last year he said, “We are a great and rich country and getting richer, but we have Third World investment in the arts.” I hope his words will shame us into supporting the arts as we should.
In his honour, here is the funeral music from the third act of Götterdämmerung. The hero is laid to rest…
(James Levine, Metropolitan Opera)
UPDATE: Saturday Afternoon at the Opera will be hosting a live tribute to Richard Bradshaw during their last hour this coming Saturday. By my calculations that should be 5 pm in each time zone. Listen online (in any time zone) here.