It’s nearly a year since the death of Sir Charles Mackerras, (17.11.25 – 14.7.10), a towering figure in the world of music whose career extended through live and recorded performances, operatic, choral and orchestral repertoire, who mentored numerous emerging talents and who was much loved by all with whom he worked. He left an incomparable legacy that will be appreciated long into the future.
Sir Charles was Director of Music at the English National Opera from 1970 to 1977 and it is under the auspices of this organisation that an honour roll of his colleagues gathered at the London Coliseum last Sunday, 26th June, to pay tribute to his life’s work.
Among them were Dame Felicity Palmer, Lesley Garrett, Susan Bickley, Jonathan Summers, Yvonne Kenny, Janice Watson, and many others.
The repertoire for the evening contained many works championed by Sir Charles, notably arias and choruses from Janáček’s Jenůfa, Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier,
Handel’s Julius Caesar in Egypt, Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro and Idomeneo, Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado, Verdi’s Falstaff and Don Carlos, Beethoven’s Fidelio, Britten’s Peter Grimes, and Puccini’s Tosca, The ENO orchestra was conducted by no less than three past and present Music Directors of the ENO – Edward Gardner, Sir Mark Elder and Paul Daniel.
Proceeds from the sale of tickets were donated to the ENO Benevolent Fund.
Read conductor Edward Gardner on his memories of Sir Charles Mackerras.