Magazine article Opera Canada

Daniel Lipton

Magazine article Opera Canada

Daniel Lipton

Article excerpt

Daniel Lipton was booed before he even started the first time he conducted at the Bayerische Staatsoper. "Giuseppe Pam& had double booked himself in Covent Garden and Munich. They called me at the last minute ... It was the first time I conducted without an orchestra rehearsal, with an orchestra "I didn't know. In the dressing room, I saw the lockers Of Patane, Carlos Kleiber, Guiseppe Sinopoli ... I was asking myselfWhat are you doing here?' They were expecting Patane, and they saw this kid and they had no idea who I was. I thought, 'This is my first and last performance in Germany'." Fortunately, each act Lipton conducted garnered more and more applause, and at the end soloist Wolfgang Brendel assured him,"This won't be the last time you're here?'

That nerve-racking debut launched Lipton on a career that has taken him to opera houses around the world, including appointments as Music Director and Chief Conductor of the A.n.halitsche Philharmonic in. Dessau, Germany, and General Music Director of that city's opera, Artistic Director of Opera Ontario and Artistic Director of the Opera de Colombia.At the same time, he's built a very active career as a symphonic conductor. Currently, he divides his time between his home in Berlin and Tampa, Fla., where he was recently appointed Artistic Director ofTampa Opera, taking over from founding Al) Anton Coppola. "In Tampa," says Lipton,"I decide who is going to sing, which sets we use, which stage directors we use, which makeup. Which lighting person. All these decisions lie in my hands. It's a good thing and it's a scary thing because each production has to be outstanding ... It is a great challenge, but I don't try to do better than anyone else. I try to better myscOrrespective of where I have worked."

This idea of living in the present permeates all his work. "I have no idea if I have gotten better, worse or am at a standstill. I avoid listening to any of my recordings or my DVDs. I don't want to be locked into a vision of myself. I just want to make sure that every time it is the very best that I can do. I've worked with some amazing artists--Joan Anderson, Carlo Bergonzi, Piero Cappuccilli--the list is very long and it's been great working with them. I must say that the great artists are the easiest to work with--especially if you feel you are there to help them. …

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