bland, accommodating generalities but a fierce inner reserve. His younger brother Thomas, who died in April 2020, was the principal gatekeeper, but there was also Thomson, his live-in assistant and caregiver for 50 years. Secrecy shrouded his death. It took eight days for the news to break on March 17. No cause of death was initially given. It turned out that he and Thomson had married in December 2019, possibly as a reward for her devotion, possibly for estate reasons.
Levine lived to see the erosion of his beloved Met orchestra. Perhaps Gelb had no choice, given the company’s finances and the donors on his board insisting; perhaps he was simply playing hardball. At the time of writing the Met and its orchestra have returned to the bargaining table in return for a partial restoration of salary. But there seems to be no movement with the locked-out stagehands. Ten musicians have retired (three or four is the annual norm) and 40 have moved out of town, possibly temporarily.
In death, though, Levine lives on, in the Met’s daily streamings of archived performances—so many conducted by James Levine. Even from beyond, Jimmy has attained immortality, the Met’s spectral public presence.
Tito Del Bianco Italian tenor, in Trieste, on December 8, aged 88. Born in Trieste on 3 July 1932, he studied first in his home town with Augusta Rapetti Bassi before moving to Rome for further studies with Renata Cotogni. He was a notable Otello, first singing the role at the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto and later at the Teatro Regio di Parma, the Bayerische Staatsoper and the Wiesbaden, Szeged and Varna festivals. Other major roles included Calaf, Radames, Ismaele, Pollione and Canio, in Naples, Bologna, Parma, Genoa and Trieste. Del Bianco also sang Lieder and Wagner in concert. Retiring from the stage in 1982 he went on to teach at the Conservatorio di Musica in Trieste, became the artistic director of the Accademia Lirica Augusta Rapetti Bassi and published a number of musical essays. He was awarded the Gold Medal of Giuseppe Verdi dalla Corale Verdi di Parma and was made Commendatore dell’Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana in 1998.
Luciano Di Pasquale Italian bass-baritone, in Teramo, on March 18, aged 56. He was born in Teramo on 10 June 1964 and studied at the Conservatorio di Rodi Garganico and then with Elio Battaglia and Regina Resnik. Well known for his buffo roles, he sang throughout Italy in Mozart, Donizetti and Rossini operas as well as more rarely performed works by Paisiello and Spontini. International appearances took him to Toulouse, Avignon, Lyon, Nice, Paris, Moscow, Brussels, Graz, Wexford and Glyndebourne, in roles including Don Pasquale, Dulcamara, Don Magnifico and Bartolo. In 2008 Di Pasquale became the artistic director of the Festival Arte in Canto in Basciano. His recordings included Paisiello’s Il barbiere di Siviglia and Spontini’s L’eroismo ridicolo and DVDs of La Cenerentola and L’elisir d’amore from Glyndebourne. Renée Doria French soprano, in La Celle-sur-Morin, on March 6, aged 100. Born in Perpignan on
Opera, May 2021