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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Dear Mr. Guttman

Vancouver Opera's Artistic Director Emeritus, Dr. Irving Guttman, CM, OBC, recently received this very nice letter from a patron.

Here's what it says:

To Mr Irving Guttman


Some forty years ago, you produced for Vancouver Opera Puccini's Tosca. The cast was Nancy Tatum Cornell MacNeill and a very young Placido Domingo. Marie Collier sadly committed suicide in London, and Nancy Tatum replaced her.

The pairing of Collier and Domingo would have been a gift from heaven but it was not to be. However you had Placido Domingo, who brought the house to its feet, after his Act One aria. One knew at the time he was destined for greatness.

This Tosca was superb with its sets, lighting, costumes, and singing, and forty years on, remains still fresh in my mind.

Toscas I have seen since your production have only brought back to my mind this Vancouver Opera performance, and a name never to be forgotten: Mr. Irving Guttman.

These few lines are well overdue as a tribute to your accomplished talent. A very sincere thank-you for all you accomplished with Vancouver Opera and for a Tosca that still stands the test of time.

In closing, I sincerely hope life is being kind.

Placido Domingo and Nancy Tatum Cornell MacNeill
Tosca, 1968

Irving Guttman at work in the very early days of Vancouver Opera.
Photo by Barry Glass.

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