Cher Public

Philip Gossett 1941-2017

The American musicologist died earlier today in Chicago. 

  • This is a huge loss. Anyone who appreciates having the scores of so many operas by so many of our great composers performed as their creators really wrote them owes him a great debt of gratitude. I remember growing up to opera in the 50s and wondering why anybody would want to hack the scores Verdi, Rossini, Donizetti, et al. apart as was the custom of that time while telling us in program notes that these were very great composers whose work was immortal. I was eight or nine when I began asking myself, if these operas are so great why am I not allowed to hear all of them? Mr Gossett made that possible in many cases.

    • Camille

      Yes, you have said it quite exsctly, it is a huge loss. I’m so very sorry to hear of Mr. Gossett’s end as he did so much for music and we are greatly in his debt for that labor. I don’t know who will take his place. With his passing and along with Maestro Zedda’s as well a couple months ago, we are all the poorer.

      Here’s hoping the Petite Messe Solonelle at Caramoor, coming up, will be dedicated in his honor; it’s the least that could be done for this gallant champion of Rossini.

      Requiescat in pacem.

  • Zac Denver

    Truly a great scholar as well as an incredibly gracious gentleman. He was kind enough to respond to several of my emails as I did some research on some fairly obscure operatic topics, even checking back unsolicited to make sure I had what I needed. This is clearly an artistic voice we shall not easily replace.

  • Daniel Swick

    A favorite clip…Devia is heaven and Gossett is living for it.
    https://youtu.be/7_Ucbxoujmc

  • Niel Rishoi

    I spoke to Mr. Gossett several years ago on the phone. It was mostly about bel canto. I had spent several hours at the University of Michigan’s School of Music doing research on Bellini’s Norma. Gossett’s introduction in the Garland score was most helpful. His book Divas and Scholars is an invaluable book to have.

  • Donna Annina

    A gracious gentleman and scholar of immense generosity and erudition. I, too, had an opportunity to meet him--what a treat! I am so grateful for his work, his books and editions that opened up the rep to wider audiences. And yes, Neil, Divas and Scholars is invaluable.

  • chicagoing

    Chock-full of information and ancedotes, the full length obituary for Mr. Gossett in today’s New York Times makes for fascinating reading. Check it out.