Vale Robert Andrew Greene
Opera Australia | Monday, 13 March 2023
Vale Robert Andrew Greene
The passing of our colleague and friend, Andrew Greene, has saddened the musical industry in Australia. Born in Sydney, Andrew graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 1974, returning to the Conservatorium four years later to conduct Haydn s LInfedelta Delusa. The cast included Amanda Thane and Glenn Winslade who remained close, constant friends. For Canberra Opera Society in 1982, he conducted The Elixir of Love, again with Glenn Winslade in the cast. The following year, Andrew conducted Antoine Duhamel s The Labours of Hercules for Adelaide s Come Out Festival. This production was directed by Gale Edwards.
Andrew s long association with the works of Gilbert & Sullivan commenced with the Victoria State Opera s mounting of the Broadway hit production The Pirates of Penzance. His Opera Australia debut came in 1985 at short notice substituting for an ailing conductor for a performance of Cos fan tutte. For two years, he was Music Director for State Opera of South Australia and his operatic conducting career continued until 2012. His podium repertoire for Opera Australia included Cos fan tutte, Die Zauberfl te, Il barbiere di Siviglia, My Fair Lady, The Merry Widow, The Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado, HMS Pinafore, Trial by Jury, and A Little Night Music.
He conducted a number of the New Year s Eve Galas and Christmas Concerts for Opera Australia and his final and brilliant opus was the delightful operetta pastiche (arranged for six singers, violin and piano) Two Weddings, One Bride for which he created, arranged and wrote new lyrics riddled with charm and humour.
Andrew was a musical genius! Indeed, his orchestrations, arrangements and orchestral reductions have been played for decades. Throughout his career he conducted over sixty productions of operas, operettas, musicals, symphonic and choral works.
A quote from one of his dearest friends perfectly describes his quest in life. Andrew dedicated his life to the arts with a passionate enthusiasm and deep love for music. As a conductor he shone, working with every opera company and many orchestras in Australia. As a pianist and accompanist, he was extraordinary. These attributes are celebrated by all who knew him and worked with him.
Robert Andrew Greene died Sunday 12th March 2023, aged 66.
- Brian Castles-Onion AM.
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