Last shout for Charlie Mac

Last shout for Charlie Mac


norman lebrecht

April 24, 2011

English National Opera has ingathered a galaxy of chums on June 26 to sing out a fine farewell to Sir Charles Mackerras, who died last summer. Charlie had a short and torrid time as music director at the Coliseum. This bash is sure to wipe away any lingering aftertaste.

press release below

Sir Charles Mackerras
Concert – Stars of the classical music world mount a special tribute at ENO on
Sunday 26 June 2011


Lesley Garrett, Sir
John Tomlinson, Sir Mark Elder and others join ENO to celebrate the career of
world renowned conductor and former ENO Music Director, Sir Charles


One year
after his passing, a concert led by extraordinary conductors and singers and
including the ENO orchestra and chorus will celebrate the musical talent of
Charles Mackerras. Described as one of the great polymath music directors of the
20th century, Mackerras conducted some of the world’s most famous
orchestras and held the position of director of music at ENO from 1970-1977.


On the stage
of the London Coliseum, acclaimed international artists, most of whom worked
with Sir Charles and all having a close association with ENO, will create a
unique musical event in celebration of Sir Charles’ exceptional life and
contribution to music. The evening will include performances by singers
including Sir John Tomlinson, Dame Felicity Palmer, Lesley Garrett, Rebecca
Evans, Janice Watson, Catherine Wyn Rogers, Diana Montague Jonathan Summers and
many others.  ENO Music Director Edward Gardner, together with past Music
Directors Sir Mark Elder and Paul Daniel, will conduct ENO’s acclaimed Orchestra
and Chorus. The evening will be presented by BBC Radio 3 In Tune presenter, Sean


The evening’s
programme reflects the repertoire championed by Mackerras and includes operatic
arias and choruses from Handel’s Julius Caesar, Mozart’s Marriage of
and Idomeneo, Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of
and The Mikado, Verdi’s Falstaff and Don
, Beethoven’s Fidelio, Britten’s Peter Grimes, Puccini’s
Tosca, Janá?ek’s Jen?fa and Strauss’s


Gardner said, “We’re delighted to be celebrating Sir Charles’ work at ENO with
this special concert.  Many of the singers Sir Charles loved working with will
be performing, including Sir John Tomlinson and Dame Felicity Palmer, and three
Music Directors of ENO, Sir Mark Elder, Paul Daniel and I will share the
podium.  The programme, put together with the Mackerras family, will explore the
extraordinary breadth of Sir Charles’ work with the Company for over 60 years”.


grew up in Australia, emigrating to Britain in 1947. He began his brilliant
career as a director at Sadler’s Wells Opera of London, now ENO, conducting,
among others, Janá?ek, Handel, Gluck, Bach and Donizetti. During his life, he
was also a noted authority on Mozart and Sir Arthur Sullivan’s operas. He was
appointed principal conductor of some of Europe’s most celebrated orchestras
including BBC Concert Orchestra (1954-1956), Hamburg State Opera (1965-1969),
English National Opera (1970-1977), Welsh National Opera (1987-1992) and
Scottish Chamber Orchestra (1992-1995). He worked with some of the world’s most
influential orchestras including the Metropolitan Opera of New York and San
Francisco Opera’s in house orchestras, as well as the Sydney Symphony Orchestra
and Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Mackerras was a champion of musical direction
and wrote regarding his strategy for working with an orchestra: “I believe it’s
very important to edit orchestral parts explicitly and as thoroughly as
possible, so that the musicians can play them without too much


The concert
in honour of Sir Charles Mackerras will take place at London Coliseum on
Sunday 26 June 2011 at 7pm.



Tickets: £8 –
All proceeds of this charity concert going to ENO Benevolent


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