by Paula Citron
The loss of Richard Bradshaw has been a profound event in Canadian music history. In the house he built, the Canadian Opera Company paid tribute to their late general director. As a sign of the esteem in which he was held, everyone connected with the concert donated their services.
What made Richard Bradshaw: A Musical Celebration so special is the free tickets. They were given out to people who lined up at the Four Seasons Centre and were gone in minutes. Thus it was a packed house of ordinary folk in attendance, and one felt the respect.
This was not a blood and thunder gala with showy arias. It was a low key event. Lasting just about an hour, the soloists, the COC chorus and orchestra presented music beloved of the late conductor. It ended with soprano Joni Henson singing the powerful Libera Me from Verdi’s Requiem, fitting music for a community united in grief.
From the Four Seasons Centre, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for The New CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.