Sir Graham Vick, 30 December 1953 – 17 July 2021
We are devastated to announce that on 17 July Sir Graham Vick, Artistic Director of Birmingham Opera Company, died of complications arising from Covid 19. He had been in hospital since June after testing positive for the virus while running online rehearsals for RhineGold from home.
Every person whose life he has touched, through his passion for opera and belief that it could speak to everyone, will mourn his loss. He treated everyone the same from principal singers to community volunteers, stage management and crew, audiences and donors. VIP receptions were never held at Birmingham Opera Company, for he believed that no one was more or less important than anyone else.
Graham created Birmingham Opera Company from the fledgling CBTO in 2000 in order to share the transformative power of top-quality opera with the many and not the few. Continuing his international work in the world’s leading opera houses, he always returned to his creative home, Birmingham. He threw open the doors to the peoples of the city who came to discover what Graham himself had discovered as a boy on a life-changing visit to the Liverpool Empire. In the derelict factories, parks and urban spaces of Birmingham, everyone was welcome, not just as spectator but participant with no selection process other than a commitment to turn up and take part. From 16 to 90 year olds, they volunteered in their hundreds, committing to arduous and inspiring rehearsals resulting in unique, ground-breaking productions that have taken Birmingham’s name across the globe as an innovator.
Many people owe him their careers, others their wellbeing.