Opera North mourns principal bassoon

Opera North mourns principal bassoon


norman lebrecht

May 29, 2016

This week’s Ring cycle in Leeds this week will be dedicated to the memory of Sebastian New, who died in the past few days of cancer, aged 57.

Sebastian had been principal bassoonist in the Orchestra of Opera North for around twenty-five years.

sebastian new


  • Terry says:

    My condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. I’ve been attending the excellent Ring cycle this week and had missed this dedication. Götterdämmerung today will seem all the more poignant now.

  • Alastair Miles says:

    I’m so shocked and saddened by this news. A fantastic player and a warm, generous and funny man. We shared a flat at the Rossini Festival in Pesaro in 1983 when we were playing in the off-stage band. Since then I always looked forward to seeing him when working at ON. My thoughts are with his friends and family and all at ON.

  • Terry says:

    We’ll I’ve just come back from a marvellous performance…. and yet I’m slightly confused as to why Opera North’s chief gave a long and effusive talk (before the performance) about the wonderful maestro Farnes yet failed to mention any dedication to the late principal bassoon.

  • Ursula Leveaux says:

    Poor sweet Seb. I knew him for over 30 years. RIP

    • Ursula Leveaux says:

      I am really sad to hear this about Sebastian. I did know him as a student and in ECYO , a warm and genuine person, and a great player.
      Although not inappropriate, I didnt actually write this original post – I would very much like to know who that was.

  • Simon Estell says:

    As my tutor in 91 at a very difficult time in my life he guided and inspired me. I owe him a lot, personally and professionally. Sad news. RIP Bas

  • Marney O'Sullivan says:

    A sad loss. I worked next to Baz for 22 years, and though we had the odd disagreement over that time I never lost sight of the fact that he was a really special musician. I’ve felt that even more since I’ve been coming to hear Opera North instead of playing with them… many’s the time I’ve left the theatre saying something like: well I’m not sure about the production but boy, that bassoon sure sounds good! RIP

  • Diccon Garrett says:

    Damn. I played one season of Kent Opera with him and, just before that he joined us in Batignano for the summer season, where he behaved outrageously at dinner.

    We talked about working together at Opera North and I’ve often wondered what I missed out on.

    Only in the last two years did we reconnect briefly on Facebook, and only now do I realize why it was sadly so brief.