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Irving Allen Guttman, born the 27th of October 1928, was a revered Canadian opera director. Known as “the father of opera in Western Canada,” Irving Guttman mentored and developed many famous singers, and directed numerous operas in Canada and overseas.
Irving Guttman’s contributions to the opera in Canada are vast. He established himself as artistic director of the Vancouver and Edmonton operas in 1960 and 1965 respectively, and serving in these roles congruently; became artistic director of the Manitoba opera in 1977; and lastly served as the founding artistic director of the Saskatchewan opera in 1999.
Although Mr. Guttman retired in 2003, he continued to mentor young opera students at the University of British Columbia until 2010.
Mr. Guttman received the Canadian Centennial Medal (1967), the Canada 125 Medal (1992), and the Queen’s Golden (2002) and Diamond Jubilee Medals (2012). He was a member of the Order of Canada (1988), and the Order of British Columbia (2002), and was inducted into the Canadian Opera Hall of Fame in 1995.
Mr. Guttman died on December 7th, 2014 in Vancouver, B.C.