Death of an American maestro, 102

Death of an American maestro, 102


norman lebrecht

March 09, 2020

The veteran conductor Anton Coppola has died at a great age.

Antonio Francesco Coppola conducted for several US opera companies and on Broadway. He co-founded Opera Tampa in Florida and was director of both symphony and opera Departments at the Manhattan School of Music.

He was the uncle of the film director.


  • KANANPOIKA says:

    Worked with him on a number of occasions…..impatient,
    irritable….but a cut well above the norm….

  • Crawford says:

    RIP, Maestro. Your dedication to your craft and unabashed enthusiasm for music never diminished. I will never forget hearing you sing and play excerpts from your opera SACCO AND VANZETTI years ago at the Da Capo Opera Theatre – both hysterically funny and deeply moving. You always remained true to yourself and served music with a practical integrity.

  • drummerman says:

    In the spring of 1972, I played in the orchestra for the New York premiere of Henze’s opera, “Boulevard Solitude,” at the Manhattan School of Music, with Anton Coppola conducting. There was one spot where the music took on a quasi-jazz flavor. Coppola would shout out to the orchestra: “Now we play jazz,” and would proceed to conduct us in a very NON-jazz like style! RIP, Maestro.

  • Peter San Diego says:

    I heard him conduct the live orchestral accompaniment to the restored silent film, Abel Gance’s “Napoleon”. The musical performance was a key component of perhaps the greatest cinematic experience of my life. Ave atque vale, Maestro.

  • Jack says:

    He did a lovely Puccini album with Angela Gheorghiu about 15 years ago.

  • Max Raimi says:

    Back in the early 1980s, in my NYC freelance days, I played under Maestro Coppola. He could put a Verdi opera together with an erratic cast and a pickup orchestra on one rehearsal. The performance would be solid as a rock.

  • Max Raimi says:

    I played under Maestro Coppola in my NYC freelance days. He could put a Verdi opera together on one or two rehearsals with a pickup orchestra and an erratic cast, and the performance would be rock solid.

  • We have a tribute on Scoring Notes. I worked with him in 2008 to engrave the piano-vocal edition of his opera, Sacco & Vanzetti.

  • justsaying says:

    Many years ago I saw Coppola conduct La Rondine with a scrappy little company and a pretty sketchy orchestra. It didn’t sound great but it was solid for sure. Then the assistant conductor took over one performance, and even though they had all played it together multiple times already, every ten minutes or so brought a crisis.