Elijah Moshinsky, 1946–2021
We are very sad to hear of the death of director Elijah Moshinsky, whom we represented for several years towards the latter part of his career.
His manager, Sally Donegani, worked with him for ten years and says: ‘Elijah’s prolific career spanned some 50 years and he leaves a rich legacy, with several of his productions still regularly revived. He will be remembered particularly as an interpreter of Verdi and for productions of great grandeur and spectacle. He was always faithful to the musical score, constantly looking for details to bring out the drama. He had a vast knowledge and often wrote fascinating texts and notes for his productions that offered an insight into his profound understanding, as well as his grasp of detail.
‘In recent years he enjoyed working with young singers and while he demanded a lot from them, I know they were glad to have the opportunity to work with him and benefitted enormously from his knowledge and experience.
‘I remember his Verdi trilogy for the Buxton Festival – the original version of Macbeth, Giovanna d’Arco and Alzira. I was so impressed at what he was able to achieve with very small budgets. He was passionate about the projects he undertook and could be provocative, but he had a great sense of humour. He used to ring me up and recount anecdotes with a great sense of glee.’
Born in Shanghai and raised in Melbourne, Australia, Moshinsky graduated from the University of Melbourne and then studied at St Anthony’s College, Oxford, where he directed a production of As You Like It that resulted in him being offered a position as a staff producer at the Royal Opera House.
His first major opera production was Peter Grimes for the Royal Opera House in 1975, and subsequent work there included Lohengrin, The Rake’s Progress, Macbeth, Samson et Dalila, Tannhäuser and, more recently, Otello, as well as a revival of his Simon Boccanegra, conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano. He directed many productions at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, and for Opera Australia, and worked with opera houses around the world. In 2018 he was given the Opera Australia Trophy in recognition of his contribution to the country’s operatic industry. He also won three Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Opera, for Lohengrin, Stiffelio and The Rake’s Progress.