Emerson Buckley, 73, An Opera Conductor
Emerson Buckley, a former artistic director of the Greater Miami Opera and the tenor Luciano Pavarotti's conductor, died of emphysema at his home in Miami on Saturday. He was 73 years old.
Mr. Buckley was the musical director of the Miami opera from 1950 to 1973 and later became its artistic director and resident conductor.
After retiring in 1986 from the Miami opera and as music director of the Fort Lauderdale Symphony, Mr. Buckley remained active. He was a guest conductor with various opera companies in the United States, China and throughout Europe. He spent much time during his last years touring as Mr. Pavarotti's conductor.
Mr. Buckley, a striking figure with silver hair and goatee, appeared in the 1982 feature film ''Yes, Giorgio,'' which starred Mr. Pavarotti as a pampered opera star. Mr. Buckley also appeared in ''A Distant Harmony,'' a documentary about Mr. Pavarotti.
A native of New York City, Mr. Buckley graduated from Columbia University in 1936. In the same year he obtained his first post, as conductor of the Columbia Grand Opera. For the next 10 years he held numerous positions in opera, ballet, symphony and broadcasting.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Henderson Buckley, a voice teacher; two sons, Robert, a theatrical producer and general manager in New York City, and Richard, of Ontario, Canada, a musical director.
This interview was recorded on the telephone on Arpil 16, 1986. This transcription was made in 1991 and published in The Opera Journal that June. It was slightly re-edited and posted on this website in January, 2009.
Award - winning broadcaster Bruce Duffie was with WNIB, Classical 97 in Chicago from 1975 until its final moment as a classical station in February of 2001. His interviews have also appeared in various magazines and journals since 1980, and he now continues his broadcast series on WNUR-FM, as well as on Contemporary Classical Internet Radio.You are invited to visit his website for more information about his work, including selected transcripts of other interviews, plus a full list of his guests. He would also like to call your attention to the photos and information about his grandfather, who was a pioneer in the automotive field more than a century ago. You may also send him E-Mail with comments, questions and suggestions.