Sombre news: A much-loved English tenor is lying in a coma

Sombre news: A much-loved English tenor is lying in a coma


norman lebrecht

March 24, 2014

Brian Galliford, who overcame a brutal battle with mouth cancer in the 1990s and went on to sing significant roles at Covent Garden, Glyndebourne and La Scala, has suffered a brain haemorrhage and is lying in a coma in a Lyon hospital. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. You may send good wishes to his Facebook page in the hope that he may read them on recovery.

Here is what we have been asked to post by Brian’s friend and ex-partner, Ric Schoens.





I have some terrible news for you all.

Brian has had a brain hemorrhage and is now in hospital in Lyon.

There is still a large amount of blood in his head that can’t be reached by the doctors. Because there is a lot of pressure in his head, for his own safety he is being kept in a coma. This can go on for weeks, maybe longer. When it is safe, the doctors are trying to wake him out of his coma. It is not known if he will be waking up. And if he will, it will be a process of days. And then it is not known if and what kind of damage it has done to his brain. And there is a possibility that he will not survive…

There are a lot of uncertainties at this moment. I am here now in Lyon, together with his parents and my friend Mirko. Brian’s parents fly home next Thursday; my friend Mirko and I will fly home next Saturday. I am the first contact for the hospital. If there is any news, they call me. Of course I will keep you all informed through Brian’s Facebook page, but only if there is any news.

For now, there are some close friends (including me) who are standing by to be with him if there is any change in Brian’s situation.

Please feel free to share your feelings and thoughts on his Facebook page. And if you can, pray or have your fingers crossed for his life, health and recovery.

Take care of yourselves,



  • david says:

    sad news indeed…..get better Brian and come back fighting as ever…….much love Jumbo

  • Norman,

    This is terrible news. As I do not use facebook, please would you pass on my best wishes for a good recovery.

    Many thanks.

  • This is dreadful. We were in contact only last week. Thinking of and praying for you, Brian.

  • Joep Winters says:

    Wat een vreselijk nieuws, na alles wat hij al doorstond. Ik zal stevig aan hem denken, en ook aan jou, Ric. Wat een geruststelling dat je er bent, en ik weet zeker dat hij het voelt. Sterkte. Joep

  • Ian Spencer says:

    Sorry to hear such sad news. Brian you are in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Ira Spaulding says:

    My best thoughts are with Brian, a dear friend and colleauge.

  • Thinking of you Brian, and hoping for a full and swift recovery.

  • john daszak says:

    Very sad news….I wish Brian all the best for a speedy recovery. Sending good tenorial vibes his way…JD x

  • giorgio cardosi says:


    You can’t read our messages now, but you can feel all of us, I know it for sure. And we are many. Coraggio e confidiamo! giorgio

  • John van halteren- Dominguez- Rodriguez says:

    Terrible horryfying news.

    Dear Brian, our thoughts and feelings are with you.

    Our fingers are crossed.

    Hope For a good recovery.

    Wish all his nearest friends family strengste in these horrified time.


  • Mudy says:

    Brian you are strong and you Will do it , you Will come back home soon I am waiting and praying for you , your little Mudy xxxx

  • ambrogio says:

    Sad sad news. Did a production with him a year ago, what a wonderful colleague and a great musician. Take care, dear Brian and get well soon!

  • Dear Brian, keep fighting. Thinking of you. WS

  • Nicci morgan says:

    Hi Brian. Sounds like you’ve had a,really tough time but glas to hear from you via LinkedIn. Let’s have a chat via email – much easier! You have my email address now
    Much love Nicci x