Renowned opera director Sir Graham Vick has died of complications arising from Covid-19, it has been announced.
Sir Graham, who was born in Birkenhead on Merseyside, founded the Birmingham Opera Company in 1987 and worked with major venues, including Milan's La Scala and London's Royal Opera House.
The 67-year-old's "pioneering" work led to him receiving a knighthood in the 2021 New Year Honours.
In a statement, the opera company said it was "devastated".
We are devastated to announce that today 17 July 2021 Sir Graham Vick, Artistic Director, Birmingham Opera Company died of complications arising from Covid 19. We would ask all to respect the privacy of his partner and loved ones at this time. pic.twitter.com/lP6c8l6D3g— Birmingham Opera Co (@BirminghamOpera) July 17, 2021
Sir Graham started his career with Scottish Opera, where he founded a touring company to take productions to remote communities.
His work with the Birmingham Opera Company saw him create innovative performances that aimed to reflect the city.
With no fixed venue, he crafted performances that took place in unusual locations, such as aircraft hangars, nightclubs and power stations.
The company has won numerous awards and was most recently given gold at the International Opera Awards in May for its education and outreach programme.
Paying tribute to him on Twitter, Scottish Opera said he left "a legacy of many important international productions", while English National Opera called him "legendary".
We are deeply saddened by the death of Sir Graham Vick. He was our Director of Productions from 1984 before founding Birmingham Opera Company. Graham had a renowned international career and leaves a legacy of many important international productions. pic.twitter.com/T9rW8zKp0U— Scottish Opera (@ScottishOpera) July 17, 2021
Everyone at the ENO is deeply saddened to hear the news of the death of Sir Graham Vick, the legendary opera director. It was our great pleasure to work with him on a number of landmark ENO productions including Madam Butterfly, Fidelio and the world premiere of Timon of Athens. pic.twitter.com/p7nmYeFNgG— English National Opera (@E_N_O) July 17, 2021
Speechless at the news that opera hero and genius Graham Vick CBE has died. We are so proud to have presented him RPS Honorary Membership in 2016 for his work putting communities at the heart of sensational opera. We must all strive to follow his example and continue his mission. pic.twitter.com/S7KSVDKAXV— Royal Philharmonic Society (@RoyalPhilSoc) July 17, 2021