Top baritone, 42, dies amid pay worries

Top baritone, 42, dies amid pay worries


norman lebrecht

May 10, 2017

Tragic news from Brazil.

One of the country’s leading baritones, Leonardo Pascua, died this week of a massive heart attack at the age of 42.


Leonardo Pascua was a member of the Rio de Janeiro Municipal Theatre. Like other staff and artists, he had not been paid for months. His widow, Rose, a soprano with the Municipal, has (we hear) been forced to borrow money from colleagues to pay for the funeral.

Rose posted: ‘I need to inform you all that God called Leonardo Pascua to sing with him his praises! We will meet for the last tribute tomorrow, from 9 pm. The prayers are more than necessary for our family! Difficult time for all that loved him!’

Many of the singers at the Rio Municipal Theatre are living off food handouts. The organisation has done nothing to relieve their plight. Members of the chorus, the ballet and the orchestra are demonstrating in front of the theatre.


EDITORIAL: The music stops in Brazil.


UPDATE: Footage from the opera protest in Rio.


  • A Bennett says:

    This is such a sad situation . I sang in two concerts at the Municipal as part of a South American tour just a few years ago. In the musical world we take care of our own and show solidarity . It would be good if there was some international organisation to offer help to musicians in this kind of situation. It is really not their fault. How are they paying their rents for example? Just arrears growing I guess.