Thursday, July 03, 2008

Edgar Vincent (1918 - 2008)

You may not know his name, but Edgar Vincent was responsible for the names of opera stars you do know – Placido Domingo, Lily Pons, Anna Moffo, Risë Stevens, Eleanor Steber, Jussi Bjoerling, George London, Leonard Warren, Mirella Freni, Shirley Verrett, Beverly Sills and, more recently, Cecilia Bartoli, Dolora Zajick and Salvatore Licitra. He was responsible for the careers of scores of opera luminaries and other classical artists including conductors Erich Leinsdorf, Leopold Stokowski and Georg Solti; the cellist Mstislav Rostropovich; Mikhail Baryshnikov; and the violinist Isaac Stern.

His connection to Opera Tampa was very strong. He represented our Opera Tampa Apprentice Micaela Oeste and was a strong supporter of VoicExperience. One of the new voice teachers at our Patel Conservatory, Eleni Matos was the first singer Mr. Vincent signed when he moved from publicity to management.

I had the honor of meeting Mr. Vincent at a VoicExperience event at The Players Club in New York City this past Spring. I knew I was meeting a huge part of opera history in the 20th Century, but I didn’t expect him to “look” the part. A consummate gentleman, he was dressed in the fashion of a man of society. If I had called Central Casting and asked for an “opera manager” I am quite sure they would have sent Edgar Vincent over to play the role. He personified dignity and class, yet he had an affable and generous way about him that made him much younger than his 90 years.

I am honored to have met Mr. Vincent and I am sure that Beverly Sills will be so pleased to have her close friend and advisor with her again.

-Kari G.

No comments: