Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Edward Downes

Edward Downes was a conductor whose presence on the podium at the Royal Opera House was always an impetus to attend, particularly in Verdi. His performances always seemed to engender a very special atmosphere in the orchestra and he was one of those conductors who never seemed to be trying to convert the composer's vision into something their own; Downes's Verdi was very much the real Verdi.

I had always understood that his lack of progress to the top at the Royal Opera House had been partly to do with his political views, but this has not surfaced in the recent obituaries so I must put it down to urban myth.

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