Covid claims international opera conductor, 78

Covid claims international opera conductor, 78


norman lebrecht

April 30, 2020

The Croatian conductor Baldo Podic, resident at Basle City Theatre from 1983 to his retirement in 2007, has died of the effects of Covid-19 on an illness for which he was already being treated.

Unflashy and accomplished, he was one of those conductors whom singers trusted most with the audience barely aware of his influence.

Born in Dubrovnik in 1942, he conducted extensively in Austria and Germany before winning a post as music director of the Opera Studio of the Opéra de Paris, while also organising festivals in his own country until the Swiss came along, offering lifelong security.

He guest-conducted The Merry Widow in 1986 at the Lyric Opera in Chicago.

UPDATE: His wife Dawn Symes-Podic posted: Last night my husband died. He had multiple underlying health conditions, but COVID-19 got him in the end. I could not see him or comfort him. Wearing full hazmat they took his body in a sealed coffin during the night. Until a vaccine is found and I emerge from isolation, his ashes will stay with the undertakers.

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  • I was fortunate to take part in masterclasses over several weeks in heavenly Asolo, near Venice, with Tito Gobbi in 1983, and Baldo Podic was the music director. How lucky we were to have a coach who understood voices and opera so well. I remember him as a man of immense physical and mental energy, great humour and intelligence, and it seems impossible to think of him in an old people’s home so ill. I feel very sad to think of it.

  • David Wilkinson says:

    I knew Baldo briefly many years ago and he was a marvelous musician. I’m very sorry to hear of his passing.