The Australian-born opera director Elijah Moshinsky, a fixture at Covent Garden and other international houses in the last quarter of the 20th century, died in London on Thursday of Covid-19.
He had just celebrated his 75th birthday.
Hired as a staff producer at Covent Garden by John Tooley in 1975, Elijah excelled across a range of repertoire, achieving something of an apotheosis in a Verdi Otello conducted by Carlos Kleiber. The opera became his calling card at the Met and elsewhere, but he did not confine himself to established works. At English National Opera he staged the UK premiere of Ligeti’s Le grand macabre and at Chicago he revived Barber’s Anthony and Cleopatra.
He lived in for many years Blackheath, south London, with his wife, Ruth, and two sons. After the divorce, he lived alone in Hither Green.
UPDATE: Antonio Pappano, Music Director of the Royal Opera, said: ‘I adored working with Elijah as he was always looking for the maximum collaboration, especially from the conductor to turn opera into something vital and true, never giving up on even the smallest details of character and how to achieve this with his singers. His knowledge of Verdi’s world was uncanny, he was a disciple. My last contact with him we were talking about Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades, though I was preparing it with a different producer. He was possessed by this story and his knowledge was total. I gained so much understanding from him and I will be forever grateful. I miss him.’