Sad news: America’s foremost Verdi scholar has died

Sad news: America’s foremost Verdi scholar has died


norman lebrecht

June 13, 2017

Italian media have just reported the death of Philip Gossett, editor of the critical Verdi edition, as well as many Rossini scores.

Philip, who died today in Chicago after a long illness, was 76.

Many maestros have expressed their gratitude for his deft work in clarifying uncertain passages in Verdi, chief among them Riccardo Muti, who worked with him on Attila and Rigoletto.

He wrote two books on Donizetti and a third on performing practice in Italian opera.


  • Brian B says:

    I had no idea he was that old. Divas and Scholars is an enthralling read, like a good detective novel, as well as incredibly informative. And in it, Maestro Muti does not always come off so well, especially with regard to his Ernani production.
    Mr. Gossett will be much missed.

  • Brian Hughes says:

    Mr. Gossett was a true mensch. As a young(er) conducting student, I’d sent off a message regarding proper percussion in Tancredi’s “banda turca.” Within less than an hour (and this was on the weekend, mind you), I received a well conceived and concise answer to my query. I have other colleagues to have shared the same experience.

    RIP Philip Gossett.

  • Stuart Rogers says:

    Very sad to hear this. I knew he had been unwell for some time, but his death is a shock. Philip had a real talent, and he was a warm and giving person. I got to know him on a trip that he conducted to Persaro in the late 90’s (great memories of the Florez/Kasarova Cenerentola.) He helped me on two papers that I wrote on an English adaptation of Cenerentola, and he was a good friend for many years before I moved away from Chicago. Divas and Scholars is a brilliant book that I was just in the process of re-reading. My condolences go out to his wife, Suzanne. Early in his career, his paper on Tancredi should be mandatory ready for anyone interested in opera scholarship.

  • Theodore McGuiver says:

    Divas and Scholars got me more interested in Italian opera than any direct dealing with the subject matter has ever done. Top-drawer scholarship and beautifully written to boot, it should be compulsory reading for any student of the genre. A great shame we’ll see nothing more from Mr. Gossett’s pen.