• Most Respected Classical Music Platform
  • #classicalForever
(PC: Daniel Barsotti)

Richard Gaddes, Founder of the Opera Theatre of St Louis, has Died Aged 81

The English opera leader was also closely associated with the Santa Fe Opera


Richard Gaddes, who was one of the most prominent leaders in the American opera scene, has passed away at the age of 81.

Gaddes was born in Wallsend, in northeast England, where he grew up in a working-class family. His father expressed doubt at his desire to pursue a music career, but nonetheless, the young Gaddes went to study the piano at Trinity College London.

After graduating, Gaddes took a job with Artists International Management. During this time, he was the founder of the lunchtime concert series at the Wigmore Hall, which offered a platform for emerging artists. In 1969, the impresario John Crosby hired Gaddes as artistic administrator at the Santa Fe Opera. Gaddes was later to succeed Crosby in 2000.

Between those two important moments, Gaddes founded the Opera Theatre of St Louis, where he served as General Director until 1987. During his tenure, the company developed a particular reputation for giving young artists their professional debuts — and for prioritizing the programming of new, American repertoire.

Gaddes' work was recognized in 2008 when he received one of the first Opera Honors Awards from the National Endowment for the Arts.

"While Richard received many meaningful accolades during his career, I’d like to think that the founding of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in 1976 was one of the accomplishments of which he was most proud," said Andrew Jorgensen, the General Director of the Opera Theatre of St Louis. "Working in partnership with a group of intrepid St. Louisans, he launched a grassroots effort to establish an opera company that was unlike any other in the country."

upcoming events

may 2024

06may01junQueen Elisabeth Violin Competition12:00 am - (june 1) 11:59 pm Flagey ASBL-VZW, Pl. Sainte-Croix, 1050 Bruxelles, BelgiumEvent Type :competitions Event Tagscompetition,Queen Elisabeth Violin Competition,violinFOLLOW

27mayAll Day31New York Classic Violin Competition(All Day) Manhattan School of Music, 130 Claremont Ave, New York, NY 10027Event Type :competitions Event TagsClassic Violin Olympus International Competition,violin competitionFOLLOW

june 2024

06junAll Day13Khachaturian International Violin Competition(All Day) Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall, 46 Mesrop Mashtots Ave, Yerevan, ArmeniaEvent Type :competitions Event TagsKhachaturian International Competition,violin competitionFOLLOW

08junAll Day16Premio Paolo Borciani International String Quartet Competition(All Day) Romolo Valli Municipal Theatre, Piazza Martiri del 7 Luglio, 1, 42121 Reggio Emilia RE, Italy Event Type :competitions Event TagsPremio Paolo Borciani International String Quartet Competition,string quartet competitionFOLLOW

17junAll Day22Primrose International Viola Competition(All Day) Colburn School, 200 S Grand AveEvent Type :competitions Event TagsPrimrose International Viola Competition,Primrose Viola CompetitionFOLLOW


Get ALL our latest conveniently by EMAIL

Our newsletter is trusted by over 100,000+ industry professionals around the world

We deliver news straight to your inbox and will never share your data.
You'll never miss a beat!

click left click right