Bob McPhee is what they call a rainmaker. His 30-year career in the arts — primarily opera — is the stuff of legend. He has numerous awards to his credit including the Order of Canada, the Opera Canada Lifetime Achievement Award, and, most recently, an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Calgary.

McPhee retired after a 19-year term as general director and CEO of Calgary Opera this past spring. Under his leadership, Calgary Opera thrived, becoming a leader in the creation of new repertoire. Eight new works were commissioned and Calgary Opera became one of only four companies offering comprehensive young artist training programs in the country.

McPhee continues to act as Special Advisor to Calgary Opera and is spearheading the building a new home for Calgary Opera at the Calgary Opera Community Arts Centre in partnership with the Calgary Stampede.

Scores of guests gathered at the Jack Singer Concert Hall on Oct. 3 to pay tribute to McPhee and his amazing contributions to the arts community. Presented by Calgary Opera, the Bob McPhee Grand Salute featured performances from singers and musicians as well as heartfelt tributes from colleagues and friends.

Among the hundreds of guests and performers in attendance were: McPhee’s proud mother Iona McPhee, who would celebrate her 90th birthday days later; honorary chairs Arlene Strom and Colin Jackson with his daughter Isabelle Jackson of LivingWorks; hosts Rob Herriot and John Estacio, a JUNO-nominated composer; conductors Gordon Gerrard and Topher Mokrewski; sopranos Tracy Dahl and Lida Szkwarek; mezzo-sopranos Norine Burgess and Andrea Hill; tenors John Tessier and Michael Morina; baritones Brett Polegato and Andrew Love; chorus master Sandra Atkinson; Philip and Arlene Ponting; Arts Commons board member Greg Forrest; avid arts supporter D’Arcy Levesque; Al Osten; Canada Council’s Bev Foy and her husband Dave Foy; Alberta Ballet board chair Larry …read more

Source:: Calgary Herald

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