US opera maestro dies, aged 78

San Diego Opera has been notified by the family that the Italian conductor Edoardo Muller passed away yesterday at the age of 78.

Edoardo Muller (or Müller) made his San Diego Opera debut in 1980, conducting the West Coast premiere of Giovanna d’Arco. Over the years he conducted over 30 San Diego Opera productions until ill-health forced his retirement in 2011.

Trieste born, he made his way as assistant to Serafin, Gui, Votto, Böhm, Molinari-Pradelli, Abbado, Kleiber and Muti, getting his breakthrough jumping in for Georges Pretre in Rossini’s Mosè at the 1973 inauguration of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.

He went on to conduct at La Scala, Paris, Munich, Barcelona, Tokyo, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago de Chile, Montreal and most Italian opera houses. In the US he worked at the Met, Chicago, Philadelphia, Houston, Seattle, Washington, Dallas, Detroit and more.

He was a frequent recital partner with Renata Tebaldi, Carreras, Obraszova, Bruson, Bergonzi and Caballé.

 

In San Diego he is remembered for his humour, warmth, passion, and incredible repertoire knowledge. He had been ill for some time, and was in a coma in his final days.

edoardo muller

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  • Maestro was a very fine musician and as lovely a colleague as one could find. An unusual gift for a conductor, he was a superb singer, I remember him demonstrate a difficult phrase in a Donizetti opera with such beauty and dynamic control his prima Donna became quite angry and left the rehearsal room!

    Rest in peace, Maestro.

  • I have had some conducting lessons by Maestro Mueller when my first teacher retired and he replaced him in Milano Conservatorio for a month. A great gentleman and a fine musician

  • When I first auditioned for San Diego Opera in 2001 (and subsequently performed there on and off until 2008), Maestro Mueller pulled me aside and gave me a critique of my audition, which was unusual for the day. I learned a lot from his pointers, and was fortunate enough to come back to perform the Messenger in Aida in 2001 and again in 2008. The first production was conducted by Maestro Mueller. He was a complete gentleman and was very clear in his conducting.

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