Conductor  Carlo  Rizzi

A Conversation with Bruce Duffie


Carlo Rizzi holds a long-standing reputation as one of the world’s foremost operatic conductors, in demand as a guest artist at the world’s most prestigious venues and festivals. Equally at home in the opera house and the concert hall, his vast repertoire spans everything from the foundation works of the operatic and symphonic canon to rarities by Bellini, Cimarosa and Donizetti to Giordano, Pizzetti and Montemezzi. Combining a deep expertise in the vocal art with theatrical flair and the practical collaborative skills honed over decades of experience in the world’s finest theatres, he is acclaimed by singers and audiences alike as a master of the operatic craft.

Born in Milan, Rizzi studied at the city’s conservatoire, and following his graduation was employed as a repetiteur at the legendary Teatro alla Scala. He launched his conducting career in 1982 with a production of Donizetti’s L’ajo nell’imbarazzo, and has now performed over a hundred operas, with a broad repertoire that is rich in Italian works in addition to the major titles of Mozart, Wagner, Strauss, Britten, Mussorgsky, Martinů and Janáček.

In September 2019 he was appointed Music Director of Opera Rara, the UK-based company devoted to resurrecting and returning to the repertoire undiscovered and undervalued works from opera’s celebrated and neglected composers. Following 2022’s new recording of Mercadante’s Il Proscritto, the position was extended until 2025, and future seasons will see performances and recordings of rarities by Donizetti and Halevy. Since 2015, Rizzi has been Conductor Laureate of the Welsh National Opera, following his tenure as Music Director (1992-2001 and 2004-8) during which he was widely credited with overseeing a dramatic increase in the company’s artistic standards and international profile. He also has held long-standing relationships with the Teatro alla Scala, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and his career has seen him leading numerous productions at the most distinguished operatic addresses including the Opera National de Paris, Teatro Real Madrid, the Rossini Opera Festival of Pesaro, the Netherlands Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the New National Theatre Tokyo, Opernhaus Zürich, Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Théâtre Royal de La Monnaie, Brussels.

Rizzi is also critically acclaimed as a symphonic conductor with distinguished orchestras around the world including Halle, the London Philharmonic, the Filarmonica della Scala, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the Netherlands Philharmonic, Orchestra i Pomeriggi Musicali, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic, Hungarian National Philharmonic, Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, and the orchestra of the National Arts Centre, Ottawa.

Rizzi’s recent highlights include opening the Canadian Opera Company’s 19/20 season with a new production of Turandot, his debut with the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Firenze, in performances of Un Ballo in Maschera and La Traviata, his debut at the Palau de les Arts in Valencia for La Cenerentola, concert performances with the Halle and the Antwerp Symphony, new productions of Les Vepres Siciliennes for Welsh National Opera and Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini for Deutsche Oper Berlin, and his debut at the Norwegian Opera in Oslo in a new production of Rigoletto. In the 21/22 season he opens the Welsh National Opera season with a production of Madama Butterfly, conducts symphonic concerts with the Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música, and also returns to the Metropolitan Opera with productions of Tosca and La Bohème; and to the Bayerische Staatsoper with a production of Tosca.

Carlo Rizzi’s extensive discography includes complete recordings of Gounod’s Faust, Janáček’s Katya Kabanova (in English) and Verdi’s Rigoletto and Un ballo in maschera, all with Welsh National Opera; a Deutsche Grammophon DVD and CD of Verdi’s La Traviata recorded live at the Salzburg Festival with Anna Netrebko, Rolando Villazon and the Vienna Philharmonic; numerous recital albums with renowned opera singers including Joseph Calleja, Juan Diego Florez, Edita Gruberova, Jennifer Larmore, Ernesto Palacio, Olga Borodina and Thomas Hampson, and most recently a pair of Gramophone Award-nominated discs for Opera Rara with Joyce El-Khoury and Michael Spyres. He has also made recordings of symphonic works by Bizet, de Falla, Ravel, Respighi and Schubert with orchestras including the London and Netherlands Philharmonics.

==  Biography from the IMG Artists website  
==  Names which are links in this box and below refer to my interviews elsewhere on my website.  BD  

Carlo Rizzi made his debut with the Chicago Symphony at the Ravinia Festival at the end of July, 1993 in a series of three different concerts on the three days following our interview.  The first featured the Viola Concerto of Walton with Yuri Bashmet, as well as the Tchaikovsky Fifth and Les francs-juges overture of Berlioz.  The next night featured cellist Lynn Harrell in works of Haydn and Bloch, plus the Mendelssohn Third.  Finally Rizzi led the CSO and its chorus in a program of operatic choruses, which turned out to be the first audition for Duain Wolfe, who then succeeded Margaret Hillis, the founder of the famed ensemble.

The following season, Rizzi appeared downtown at Lyric Opera of Chicago to lead the Barber of Seville with Frederica von Stade, Thomas Allen, Rockwell Blake, Nicolai Ghiaurov, Claudio Desderi, directed by John Copley, with sets by John Conklin, lighting by Duane Schuler, makeup by Stan Dufford, and the chorus master was Donald Palumbo.  He returned in 1996-7 for Norma with June Anderson, Robynne Redmon, Richard Margison, Carlo Colombara, directed by Colin Graham, (and again Conklin, Schuler, Dufford, and Palumbo); and again nearly twenty years later for Nabucco with Željko Lučić, Tatiana Serjan, Dmitry Belosselskiy, Sergei Skorokhodov, Elizabeth DeShong, directed by Matthew Ozawa, sets by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Jane Greenwood, wigs and makeup by Sarah Hatten, chorus master Michael Black, and lighting by Schuler.

It was on that initial visit in the summer of 1993 that I had the chance to sit down with the conductor at his hotel.  We began by talking about his dual roles . . . . .

Bruce Duffie:   You are both a symphonic and operatic conductor.  How do you divide your career between those two very taxing activities?

Carlo Rizzi:   It is important to do both activities, firstly because I like to, and secondly because if you only conduct opera, you lose interest in orchestral textures that you have more of when you conduct symphonic repertoire.  It’s an interchange in these two worlds.  For example, to learn to breathe with the singer means also learning to breathe with the symphony.  You breathe with the music.  With regards to how I divide the time, I am the musical director of Welsh National Opera, and I’m there a lot.  But I’m very careful to have time where I do symphonic concerts.  I do three concerts here with the Chicago Symphony, but that orchestra is very, very quick.  To do three performances of an opera you need three weeks of preparation.  Therefore, even though the time that you spend in the opera is longer than the time you spend in the concert, it does not mean that you do more opera than concerts.
BD:   Do you ever wish that you could put together an opera in two rehearsals?

Rizzi:   Carlos Kleiber can do this, but Carlos Kleiber is Carlos Kleiber!  [Laughs]  It’s always important to rehearse, particularly with the singers, in order to get the right feeling and to know exactly what we’re going to do.

BD:   But you can prepare a fast orchestra in a very short time?

Rizzi:   Oh yes, definitely, also because they have played everything, therefore they know!  With an orchestra like that, you start from a different level, because they know the works.

BD:   You give a down-beat, and then they go?

Rizzi:   Yes.  You can do the music and it is fine.

BD:   Perhaps a few years from now when you come back, would you purposely try to find something that the Chicago Symphony has never played?

Rizzi:   No, for a very simple reason that probably the pieces the Chicago Symphony has never played are not good.  Otherwise they would have played them!  [Both laugh]  For example, in the first concert I do Les francs-juges of Berlioz.  It’s very early, Opus 3, and you can feel it.  They have played it already many, many years ago, but it is really rare that you can find a good piece that is not often played.  There’s always a reason why pieces are not played.

BD:   And yet some of the operas you’ve conducted have not been played in a hundred or a hundred and fifty years.

Rizzi:   Yes!  With opera it’s different because, for example, there is an opera that I remember always with a very vivid memory, and it’s called L’ Idolo Cinese [The Chinese Idol].  This is a very funny opera by Paisiello, where a sailor is shipwrecked and arrives on the coast of China.  It’s very funny, but it is more interesting for the situation rather than the musical point of view.  It’s also very funny because this man and another one speak in Neapolitan dialect, which is very colorful, much more colorful than the Italian language.  But you must understand this.  It’s not possible to produce this without people having a real understanding of these funny words.

BD:   Is the Neapolitan dialect like the Austrian dialect that Strauss uses in Der Rosenkavalier?

Rizzi:   [With a big smile]  Yes, exactly!

BD:   You’ve resurrected this opera, so obviously you must find it has some merit... or is it just something you do once in your lifetime and never again?

Rizzi:   I did this because when you’re young, and they tell you to do it, you’re very happy to do it.  But this is an opera that I would like to do again.  Others?  No!  However, there’s another opera that is very interesting, Torquato Tasso of Donizetti.  This is really a very good opera.  It is very rarely performed because it requires a baritone with two lungs built like an elephant, because it
s very difficult.  In the third act there is a big aria, monologue, aria, cabaletta, and aria for twenty-five minutes.  It’s terrible!

BD:   But any baritone worth his salt today should be able to handle it.

Rizzi:   Yes, but then you must convince the director of the theater to do it, because for the soprano it’s also very difficult.  Then, for the tenor it requires a very fine buffo that speaks very fast.  Yet it’s a very interesting opera, it really is, but this is not true of all the others that I have done.

BD:   As music director of the Welsh National Opera, how do you decide which operas you’ll perform each season, and which you’ll do the following season, and which you may never do there?

Rizzi:   This is a very interesting question.  I had conducted other things, but I began as music director with Elektra.  It had already been programmed, but I wanted to do it because, being Italian, everybody associated me with Italian opera.

BD:   Being music director, you could have passed it off to somebody else.

Rizzi:   Exactly, but it’s not right because I like really music in general.  Maybe I have a little more familiarity with the Italian repertoire because I’m Italian, like Russian conductors who do Russian music very well.  They have something special for Russian music.  So I did this on purpose.  Then, for example, this year the operas that I did were Elektra, Tosca, Un Ballo in Maschera of Verdi, La Favorite of Donizetti, Eugene Onegin of Tchaikovsky, and La Bohème.

BD:   That’s a nice balance.

Rizzi:   Exactly, and this is good because it also allowed me to work with my orchestra, not only in a certain sector, but with a broader repertoire.

BD:   These were the ones you did.  Was this was the whole season?

Rizzi:   No, there was also The Barber of Seville, and Tristan und Isolde conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras, who was my predecessor.  That was it.  That was the repertoire for this season.  Next season I will conduct fewer works because they understand that as the music director, I can go away a little more.  [Laughs]  The next season opens with Cendrillon of Massenet.  We call it
Cinderella because Matthew Epstein, who is the General Director, set up a very interesting project.  We did Cendrillon of Massenet, Cenerentola of Rossini, and Cinderella of Peter Maxwell Davies, [Opus 87, dating from 1979, the work is described as a pantomime opera in two acts for young performers].  Therefore, it’s a Cinderella project that goes from this big new production of Massenet, to a small-scale Rossini work, to this little project for children. 


See my interview with Vesselina Kasarova

Then we also will have Lucia di Lammermoor, and Falstaff.  I’m very unhappy that I will not be conducting the Falstaff.  It’s not that I cannot do the work, but this is the production of Peter Stein that travels around the world, and he wanted very much to have the same people.  I agree with this, because if you have made a production that you’ve worked for a month with a specific person, discussing all the feelings, it’s not really a revival but it’s like a new production.
BD:   Will you do your own Falstaff five or ten years down the line?

Rizzi:   Yes, because it’s an opera that I love so much.  This year I will conduct just two operas during two different sections of the season.  One is Turandot, and the other is Der Rosenkavalier.  I’m very happy because I’ve got a very good cast including Felicity Lott, who is very good.  Then down the line, in the next years I will do Nabucco, and the really challenging project for me will be Wozzeck.  It is a good thing that I can do the operas that I like to do.

BD:   What makes it a work you want to do?

Rizzi:   Musical and dramatic reasons.  It must be something which works in the theater.  For the Rosenkavalier, it is for musical reasons because it’s a fantastic opera.  For Wozzeck, it is both musical and dramatological reasons.  I heard Wozzeck conducted by Claudio Abbado at La Scala many, many years ago.  [Laughs]  I was very young, and I went to the first performance thinking, “Oh, my God!  What a boring pallbearer it will be!”  But then I went back to every performance because it was fantastic, and I now have the possibility to do it.  Little dreams become true!

BD:   You knew something about it, but were you surprised when you started delving into the score to find out exactly what was there?

Rizzi:   I cannot say that.  I know only that there is something about this type of opera, and this opera specifically that is very interesting for me.  That does not happen with every opera.  For example, La Bohème I can conduct morning, afternoon, and evening, because it’s an opera that I love with all my heart.  Tosca is also a great opera that I love, and I’m very happy to do it, but it’s just a different thing.  I don’t know why.  I think that La Bohème is a better opera than ToscaBohème is a perfect opera, as is Turandot.  But with certain operas, there is something that is not the same as other operas.  Falstaff is an opera that is fantastic.

BD:   More so than Traviata?

Rizzi:   Traviata, I like very much.  I’ve done it very often, but if I had to choose between conducting Traviata and Falstaff, at the moment I would prefer Falstaff.  Maybe this is because I conducted my last Falstaff
which was my first Falstaffsix years ago, and Traviata I’ve just conducted in Venice.  I’ve also done the recording and the video, so you want to go where the things are more difficult for you.

BD:   Would you ever want to conduct all twenty-seven Verdi operas?

Rizzi:   No, no!

BD:   [With mock sadness]  We can’t look forward to Alzira from you???

Rizzi:   [Smiles]  I’ve already conducted more than fifty operas.  But it’s time now to have a filter, not only for operas but also to narrow down the symphonic repertoire that I do, because then I can do it better.

BD:   Have a few works, and make them your own?

Rizzi:   Yes.  Nobody needs to show that he can conduct endless operas.  This is important, because if you can conduct five operas but they’re the best in the world, it’s much better.  Again citing Kleiber, who is one of my preferred conductors, he conducts five operas or ten operas, and no more.  If he does this, there must be a reason.

*     *     *     *     *

BD:   When you conduct opera, you obviously have the music and the drama.  Where’s the balance between those two ideas?

Rizzi:   This is a very easy question for me.  Maybe not for the producer, but for me it’s a very easy question.  The balance and the truth is in the score, not in the libretto.  The truth is in the score, and this is a point many producers don’t understand, because they think about the words, and they cannot accept that a word means only one thing.  There must be something behind it.  But that’s not true.  Sometimes there’s something behind it, but sometimes it’s just plain words that are used for the music to make a beautiful tone and tune.  Sometimes, though, it is not.  For example, at the beginning of Aïda, when Amneris is with Radames,
Aïda comes in and immediately Amneris starts speaking to her like a slave.  It’s very rude.  She says, Tremble, evil slave, and there’s no reason for this.  In this case, for example, the words are wrong.  I’m sure that the libretto of Antonio Ghislanzoni did this.  He was not the greatest poet of the world, but if you look at the music of Verdi, you immediately understand that the feeling of these words must not be so heavy.  Everybody that sings Amneris thinks that it is a possessed-woman who immediately starts to scream at everybody.  But the music is very light.  She’s just a woman who is speaking with the person that she loves, when somebody comes in and interrupts.  So I would be annoyed, too.
BD:   The music conveys her agitation?

Rizzi:   Exactly, it’s just agitation, and therefore it’s not necessary that Amneris sing like a bass tuba!  But this comes from the music, it does not come from the words.  If you read the words, you must just put a knife in there, and Amneris must kill 

BD:   But she doesn’t know yet that 
Aïda is her rival.  She thinks it, but she doesn’t know for sure.  [Vis-à-vis the recording shown at left, see my interviews with Jerry Hadley, Cecilia Gasdia, Alexandru Agache, Susanne Mentzer, and Brigitte Fassbaender.]

Rizzi:   Exactly.  This is what I mean.  This is just an agitation that is in the music.  But again, if the producer starts from the words, it’s wrong.

BD:   Is it possible for you to convince producers to look more at the music as well as the text?

Rizzi:   The intelligent producers, yes.  Strangely enough, it does not become a question of
a normal production in the period and style of the time, or a crazy production.  It becomes a question between an intelligent producer and a not-so-intelligent producer.  An intelligent producer understands this immediately because they start from the music.  This is what it is about, therefore the balance is very easy.  It’s written in the score.

BD:   As music director of the Welsh National Opera, can you try to engage only intelligent producers?

Rizzi:   Yes, but I cannot say that!  [Both laugh]  In an ideal world, yes, but in an ideal world, I would not be the music director because there would be somebody else better than I as the music director, and the singers that we would engage would be the best of the world.  We try to give the producers the operas in which they will feel better about the atmosphere and the drama.  Some are good at painting with very gentle tones, and some are very good at painting with terrible, brutal, violent colors.  Therefore, it depends on the opera.

BD:   Does it take an intelligent producer to work with the opera, rather than impose his will upon the opera?

Rizzi:   Yes, definitely.  When I look at the score, I always find that what is written in the score is right.

BD:   Always???

Rizzi:   Always!   Yes, because, for example, many times we have traditions, or we have something that has been altered, but in the real masterpiece, there’s a reason for everything, and if you discover this reason, then you have the key to the opera.

BD:   You say this is true in a masterpiece.  What about works on the next level, or level after that?

Rizzi:   There are a lot of masterpieces, and then on the next level and the next level you must start to try to understand what the composer wants, and not just say, “Hmmm... here, I think that this is like that.”  It is very important to be in a very humble position in front of each opera, and find what you really understand.  Then you can maybe make some changes, but it’s very important to look at the score.  This is the basis of everything.

BD:   Do you get the producers to look at the score as well as just the text?

Rizzi:   Yes!  They know that I’m quite strong about this.  This is the right way to do it, because producers in the past have had too much importance.  I’m sorry, but it’s been too much, and it’s not a question of power, or who is the most important.  A hundred years ago, operas were staged by the stage manager, not by a producer.  I don’t want to go back to this, because it’s stupid.  In modern times, the visual side is much more immediate and much more important than the musical side, especially in television and the cinema.

BD:   I would assume that the stage manager, who staged works, was merely a traffic cop?

Rizzi:   Yes, exactly, telling the singers to go left or right, or behind the scene.

BD:   Is it good that there’s more detail, and more inventiveness in the productions?

Rizzi:   Yes, yes, yes.  This is good.  I don’t want to be negative about this.  This is good, but it’s good as long as everything starts from the score, and not from the libretto.

BD:   What about a brand new work, a world premiere?  There you are working directly with the composer and the librettist, as well as a stage director.
Rizzi:   We have just commissioned a work for the fiftieth anniversary of the company, which will be in 1996.  I’m interested to see how it will be pursued.  I will not conduct this opera, because I’m doing two other operas at the same time. [The resulting opera was The Doctor of Myddfai, by Maxwell Davies, whose libretto was written by David Pountney, and included Welsh-language songs.  The opera was based on a 12th-century folk tale.  It premiered on July 10, 1996 at the North Wales Theatre in Llandudno.]

BD:   Have you conducted some world premieres?

Rizzi:   Not modern ones, no, but I have conducted some rediscoveries.

BD:   Where’s opera going today?

Rizzi:   Downhill!  [Both laugh]

BD:   OK... we
ll all pack up and go home now.  [More laughter]

Rizzi:   Opera is like everything.  It’s a product of its time.  I don’t think opera is dead, but it is changing.  But don’t ask me where or in which direction it is changing, because I don’t know.  Now you can see that the perception of the opera is not the same as it was dramaturgically.  It’s not any more a story, or a part of a story that can be just a situation.  It’s not just what happens in the morning, and the afternoon, and the evening.  It’s different colors and situations.  Last year at Covent Garden I went to see Gawain of Birtwistle, and it was very good.  I was very, very, very impressed because I did not fall asleep, and this is quite important.  It’s very good.  I was very positively surprised, and interested because the music was really very interesting.  There was a line in everything.  However, I felt it was a little too long.  There’s a scene where one year passes, and the four seasons come around.  I felt that was a little too long, but all the rest was very good.

BD:   Is it important for you, as music director, to keep up with the new operas, and to know which ones you might want to bring in?

Rizzi:   Yes, this is very important, but to understand which are the good operas is a real gift.  I don’t know if I have this gift.  For example, in Milano there was a series of concerts called Musica Contemporanea, contemporary music.  I don
t think it’s still going, but every Saturday there were a lot of people sitting there, and saying, “Oh, this is fantastic,” even though this was the most farting music.  They liked it just because it was called contemporary music.  This is wrong because in a hundred years, what will remain is only the one per cent of what is done.  Therefore, this is not honest.  But on the other hand, I’m sure that something will remain, because otherwise this means the world is ending!  [Both laugh]  But I don’t know what will remain.

BD:   We need to endure the ninety-nine per cent to get to one per cent?

Rizzi:   Yes, for the moment.

BD:   What advice do you have for someone who would like to write a new opera these days?

Rizzi:   No.  I’m not a composer.  I tried to do something when I was very young, and it was not my way.  I’ve not got any advice.  No suggestions at all, except to believe in what they do.  This is the most important thing because some of the composers are honest, but some are not.

BD:   What advice do you have for audiences who are coming to a full season of opera or symphony?

Rizzi:   It’s very important not to just simply please the audience.  It’s too easy to put up a season with the Ninth Symphony of Beethoven, and a symphony of Mahler, or La Bohème or Butterfly, and just these kinds of things.  It’s very easy to do, but it doesn’t improve the public.  Besides enjoyment, our mission is to educate the public.  To do this, it is important to bring new music.  For example, next year I will conduct the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, and there’s a piece by a Canadian composer.  We really want to promote this.  It is a very good thing, because it is a Canadian orchestra, so why not promote a young Canadian composer.  So I said, yes, fine, why not?  I have now received the score, and I have one year to study it.  I’m not saying fifty per cent of the concerts must be new music, but a part of the program should be dedicated to a young, or even less young composer.  We need newer works.

*     *     *     *     *
BD:   You’ve made some recordings.  Do you conduct the same in the recording studio as you do in the concert hall, or the opera house?

Rizzi:   Oh, no!  Ideally yes, but in the recording the approach to the music is very much different.  One thing that makes me happy is that until now
and I hope it will go onis that people say the recordings I made sound like a performance.  I mean this in a positive way, not because of any mistakes.  This is a thing that makes me very proud, because the danger with recording is they become very antiseptic, very sterile like a hospital, and this is disappointing.  I will tell you one story that happened to me.  I was going to Paris to conduct the Fifth Symphony of Mahler, and I bought twenty-five recordings of the the piece.  I was listening to them one after the other.  One of them was Klaus Tennstedt with the London Philharmonic, and it was something special.  The first movement was great, as was the second movement... up to a point.  In the middle of second movement, I always remember...  Bang!  The timpanist was one bar too early.  It was an enormous mistake, and I stopped the recording.  I wondered how it was possible that the London Philharmonic passed it, and that EMI would issue it.  Only then did I discover that it was a live recording!  The mistake is something that was there because it was a performance.  But what a performance!

BD:   So that one mistake didn’t detract from the total impression?

Rizzi:   No, definitely, not.  Let’s be honest.  When you listen to the recordings of Toscanini, they are playing like a provincial orchestra.  They’re out of tune, they are not always together, but they have something special because it’s a live performance, and because he was a great conductor.  We owe them a great debt, but from the point of view of the technical quality, it would not be acceptable today.  The intonation was not good, and the sound was not good.  The technique of the orchestra has improved greatly since that time, but we still study the recordings of Toscanini because he has something to say.  Maybe I will not do it like him, but he surely has something to say, and this is what must come through the recording.  It is not just a very clear picture.

BD:   You’d rather have a painting than a photograph?

Rizzi:   Definitely, definitely!

BD:   You just turned thirty-three.  Are you at the point in your career that you want to be at this age?

Rizzi:   I’m much higher up than what I was hoping to be.  [Laughs]  I’m very happy.  I’m thirty-three, so that means that I’m exactly one-third of my life, because I will live until I’m a hundred!  I started my career only ten years ago, and I have quite a lot of time in front of me.  There’s a saying in Italy that says, “Chi va piano, va sano e va lontano,” which means
whoever goes slowly, goes safely and goes far.  That is something to follow.

BD:   Thank you for coming to Chicago.  We look forward to these concerts, and hope you will be back again.

Rizzi:   Thank you.

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© 1993 Bruce Duffie

This conversation was recorded in suburban Chicago on July 29, 1993.  Portions were broadcast on WNIB the following year, and again in 1995 and 2000.  This transcription was made in 2022, and posted on this website at that time.  My thanks to British soprano Una Barry for her help in preparing this website presentation.

To see a full list (with links) of interviews which have been transcribed and posted on this website, click here.  To read my thoughts on editing these interviews for print, as well as a few other interesting observations, click here.

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Award - winning broadcaster Bruce Duffie was with WNIB, Classical 97 in Chicago from 1975 until its final moment as a classical station in February of 2001.  His interviews have also appeared in various magazines and journals since 1980, and he now continues his broadcast series on WNUR-FM, as well as on Contemporary Classical Internet Radio.

You are invited to visit his website for more information about his work, including selected transcripts of other interviews, plus a full list of his guests.  He would also like to call your attention to the photos and information about his grandfather, who was a pioneer in the automotive field more than a century ago.  You may also send him E-Mail with comments, questions and suggestions.