Obituary: conductor Vincent La Selva, New York Grand Opera founder, 88

Posted on: October 12, 2017

“American conductor Vincent La Selva, founder of the New York Grand Opera free performances in Central Park from 1973 to 2012, died in Cleveland on October 9,” writes Sarah Shay in Wednesday’s (10/11) Musical America (subscription required). “He was 88 and suffered from dementia…. In addition to his work with Grand Opera, for which he is said to have mounted 350 performances of 55 operas to an audience of more than three million, La Selva for a time conducted at the New York City Opera and was on the Juilliard faculty from 1969 to 2010. He also guested conducted orchestras such as the New Jersey Symphony and the Bern (Switzerland) Symphony…. In 1954 he founded the Xavier Symphony Society, made up of volunteers. Additional milestones included his eight-year cycle of the complete (28) Verdi operas in chronological order with the New York Grand Opera, the first U.S. performances of Leoncavallo’s La Bohème and Verdi’s Stiffelio, and local premieres of a number of Verdi’s lesser-known operas.… In addition to Central Park, NYGO performed in Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Beacon Theater, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the Bronx Botanical Gardens…. The Cleveland native studied trumpet as a youngster and received his BM from the Juilliard School…. Funeral arrangements are pending.”

Posted October 12, 2017