Saturday, May 23, 2015

Former Portland Opera Director Stefan Minde passes

I have just received email from Edith Minde that her husband, Stefan Minde, died on May 21st. He was 79 years old. Minde was the General Director and Conductor of Portland Opera from 1970 to 1984 during which time he did some amazing work for the company, including Richard Wagner's "Die Meistersinger," Ernst Krenek’s “Life of Orestes," and the world premiere of Bernard Hermann’s “Wuthering Heights." In her message, Edith mentioned that she and Stefan were married 54 years and he drew his last breath while listening to the last bars of Bach's "Christmas Oratorio," which was the last piece he conducted (with the Sinfonia Concertante Orchestra). My interview with the Mindes in 2011 for Oregon Music News gives a glimpse into their lives when Stefan was still healthy. For an excellent, longer obituary, please refer to Mark Mandel's piece in The Oregonian.

PS: I sang under Minde's direction with the Portland Opera chorus for productions of "Faust," "Fidelio," and "Il Trovatore" in Keller Auditorium, and "Die Fledermaus" and "Der Freisch├╝tz" in Washington Park. He was an inspirational, excellent conductor. RIP Stefan.

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