Is this the end? Opera conductor dies moments before rehearsal

Is this the end? Opera conductor dies moments before rehearsal


norman lebrecht

September 09, 2020

La Monnaie in Brussels has just announced the death of Patrick Davin, who was in the house rehearsing a new opera by Jean-Luc Fafchamps. The opera’s title is Is this the end.

The Belgian conductor, who was 58, is thought to have suffered a heart attack.

La Monnaie statement:

“Nous avons l’immense tristesse de vous annoncer que le chef d’orchestre Patrick Davin est décédé cette après-midi, juste avant d’entamer une répétition de l’opéra Is this the end ?. Les musiciens, les chanteurs et les collaborateurs de la Monnaie en sont profondément affligés. Les répétitions qui étaient prévues ont été immédiatement annulées. Les membres du comité de direction et le personnel de la Monnaie adressent leurs sincères condoléances et leur profond soutien à la famille de Patrick Davin ainsi qu’à ses proches.”

(We are extremely sad to announce that conductor Patrick Davin passed away this afternoon, just before starting a rehearsal of the opera Is this the end?. The musicians, singers and collaborators of the Monnaie are deeply distressed. The rehearsals that were planned were immediately canceled. The members of the Board of Directors and the staff of the Monnaie extend their sincere condolences and their deep support to the family of Patrick Davin and those close to him.)

A student of Pierre Boulez and Peter Eötvös, Davin premiered works by Philippe Boesmans, Bruno Mantovani, Vinko Globokar, Murray Schafer, Conlon Nancarrow, Michael Levinas, James Dillon, Jean-Luc Hervé, Jean-Yves Bosseur and Marco Stroppa.


  • Anon says:

    ‘Is this the end?’

    Is that supposed to be funny? #shakesheadindisgust

    • Martijn Dendievel says:

      “Is this the end?” is the title of the opera by Fafchamps he was rehearsing at La Monnaie. It’s just a tragic and dark coincidence …

    • Clarrieu says:

      Agreed. A poor headline, Norman, which shows very little respect for the grief of family, colleagues and friends of this wonderful man.

  • V. Lind says:

    What a dreadful thing. RIP.

  • John Rook says:

    Unbelievable. I can’t believe this has happened. A lovely man and very competent conductor. This most ‘Belgian’ of characters – and I mean that in the most positive sense of the phrase – who loved his work and his origins. I know I’m blathering, but I can’t believe Patrick has died.

    • That was a big shock to hear this terrible news. I played only one series of ballet under maestro Davin, Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet – actually my very first time in the Lyon Opera orchestra pit – and I remember I immediatly found him a great musician, accomplishing great playing from the orchestra. And such a nice person to work with ! I always hoped I’d have another occasion to work with him, and will keep fond memories of these past performances.

  • Sharon says:

    What a shame. May his family find peace in knowing that he died while doing what he loved