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The BBC's Peter Morgan
"Sinopoli has made a tremendous impact on cultural life in Germany"
 real 56k

General director of the Deutche Opera, Andre Schmitz
"We are all very shocked"
 real 28k

David Singleton, music critic
"The sound was extremely warm, rich and sumptuous"
 real 28k

Saturday, 21 April, 2001, 12:40 GMT 13:40 UK
Famed conductor dies on stage
Sinopoli in rehearsal with the Semper Opera three years ago
Sinopoli in rehearsal with the Semper Opera three years ago
The Italian conductor, Giuseppe Sinopoli, has died after suffering a massive heart attack during a performance at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin.

Sinopoli, who was 54, was on the rostrum conducting Verdi's Aida when he dropped his baton and collapsed in the third act.

He was rushed to hospital, but doctors were unable to resuscitate him and pronounced him dead early on Saturday morning.

The music world reacted with shock.

Organisers of the Wagner Festival at Bayreuth in Germany, where he was to conduct the Ring Cycle later this year, said they were "dejected and stunned".

They have just over three months to find a replacement for what is one of the most gruelling jobs in the opera world.

In Italy, Prime Minister Giuliano Amato as well as members of the government coalition and the opposition paid tribute to Sinopoli as a leading light of Italian culture and a significant representative of the international arts scene.

Brilliant career

Giuseppe Sinopoli had worked at many of the world's major opera venues, amongst them the Metropolitan Opera in New York, La Scala in Milan, the Paris Opera and the Royal Opera House in London.

Sinopoli was born in Venice in 1946, and studied music at the city's conservatory in the late 1960s and early 70s.

He simultaneously took a degree in medicine at the nearby University of Padua, graduating in 1972 with doctoral dissertations on criminal anthropology and on the physiology of the acoustic mental area.

Disappointed with his studies in the Venice Conservatory, Sinopoli attended summer courses in the German town of Darmstadt in 1968.

Seven years later, he was to found the Bruno Maderna ensemble, named after the Venetian conductor under whom he studied in Darmstadt.

It was after this that Sinopoli began in earnest his career as both a composer and conductor.

He was appointed chief conductor at Rome's St Cecilia National Academy in 1983.

A year later he took up the same post at the city's Philharmonic Orchestra.

In 1985 he made his debut at the Met with Puccini's Tosca and at Bayreuth with Tannhäuser by Wagner.

Sinopoli went to Berlin in 1990 to lead the Deutsche Oper and two years later to Dresden to take over as musical director of the city's Staatskapelle orchestra.

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See also:

27 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Giuseppe Verdi: Symbol of Italy
26 Feb 01 | Entertainment
When Albert met Aida
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