Very sad news from the world of opera. Renowned British opera director Graham Vick CBE has died from complications from COVID-19 at the age of 67.
In 1987 he founded Birmingham Opera Company and worked in opera houses around the world. His productions have been staged in Milan, New York, St Petersburg, and Florence. He was knighted in the 2021 new year honors.
In a statement, the opera company said it was "devastated".
We are devastated to announce that today 17 July 2021 Sir Graham Vick, Artistic Director, Birmingham Opera Company died of complications arising from Covid 19. We would ask all to respect the privacy of his partner and loved ones at this time. pic.twitter.com/lP6c8l6D3g— Birmingham Opera Co (@BirminghamOpera) July 17, 2021
Born in Birkenhead in northwest England in 1953, Vick was a champion of taking opera to the people. As director of productions at Scottish Opera in the 1980s, he toured productions to remote communities. After setting up a company in England’s second city, Birmingham, in 1987, he staged operas in nontraditional venues including factories, warehouses, and nightclubs.
“It’s time for each one of us to step up and take responsibility for the well-being of our society rather than just taking. I want our work to be part of the solution not the problem.”— 𝐆𝐚𝐛𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐥𝐥𝐚 𝐃𝐢 𝐋𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐢𝐨 (@GDiLaccio) July 18, 2021
RIP Graham Vick
What a huge loss for music. https://t.co/dFBlA0OLIN pic.twitter.com/V5k4rouEsh
He uses to said he believed that “you do not need to be educated to be touched, to be moved and excited by opera. You only need to experience it directly at first hand with nothing getting in the way.” He was known for his bold, innovative stagings of both traditional and modern works.
"You do not need to be educated to be touched, to be moved and excited by opera." Graham Vick
Graham called for classical music to "get out of our ghetto” to reach new audiences and shape the future of music together.
Critics described him as “brave, original and generous”.
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