We are saddened to report that former CCM Opera Department Chair Malcolm Fraser passed away on May 15, 2012 of natural causes relating to long term health issues.
An expert in opera stage direction, unconventional performance venues, the castrato in opera and the influence of the commedia del-arte on opera, Fraser’s tenure saw CCM Opera win a staggering 26 National Opera Association Production Competition awards (15 of which were directed by Fraser himself, 11 by MFA opera stage directors).Fraser was internationally known as the founder and artistic director of the Buxton International Festival. He was named a Churchill Fellow in opera and was honored with the Wedgewood Award, Prague International Television Award, the Prix d’Italia, the Kodaly Medal, the Manchester Evening News Award and the Sunday Times (London) Award for best opera production (Cherubini’s Medea).
He spent eight years as resident director with the Welsh National Opera and directed for the Welsh Drama Company, BBC-TV, NOS-TV Holland, Portland Opera and for opera companies in Seattle, Los Angeles, Indianapolis, Virginia, Milwaukee, Edmonton and Calgary, Canada.
Fraser was senior lecturer in opera studies for eight years at the Royal Northern College of Music and was permanent guest director for Arkansas Opera. In the fall of 1999 he received a Post-Corbett Award and in June 1999 he was honored with the University of Cincinnati Award of Excellence.
Malcolm Fraser’s influence at CCM cannot be overstated. We would like to express our sincerest condolences to his wife Fay and all of the members of the Fraser family.