Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sherwin Sloan

Opera fan championed Wagner's "Ring" cycle -- via the L.A. Times

1 comment:

  1. What a shock to discover my friend Sherwin died nearly a year ago. Although we'd gotten out of touch in recent years when I moved from Los Angeles, our relationship went back 25 years to the mid 1980's, when the late Le Somers, founder and then president of the Opera Buffs, Inc.(and my lover), introduced me to Sherwin at some Wagner Society soiree at Sherwin's home. After Le passed away in 1988, Sherwin and I often dined together at a fun little Italian restaurant in Encino, where we both had offices. Even then, Sherwin led opera tours for groups of Angelinos familiar with his prodigious knowledge of opera, opera singers, and opera gossip.

    Anyone who's ever been on a guided tour knows how severe are the demands made of the tour guide, even if it's only Disneyland. So imagine if you can the challenges of leading a group of aging opera nuts through the wilds of Vienna or Salzburg or Bayrueth.

    Amazingly, in his stories of these adventures, Sherwin never had an unkind or harsh word for even the most spoiled of his charges. His love of music and his joy in sharing it with others completely eclipsed every annoyance. I suspect that this is what made him and his tours so popular.

    Sherwin was a consummate gentle-man with a knack for elegant yet unpretentious entertaining that won him friends round the world. Friends who, like the music, he enjoyed introducing to other friends.

    The Los Angeles culture scene suffered a real loss with his passing. What operatic irony that after the decades of effort he put into bringing Wagner's Ring Cycle to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, he was too sick to attend the production when it was finally mounted.

    And now that I'm finally ready to take in the Salzberg Festival, my guide is gone. >Sigh< Farewell, dear friend.

    Michael Witmer (