Mike Klein Online

A Life No Longer Worth Living

Atlanta Mike Pix_Press_Club_189_-_Version_2Those who are inclined toward serious music appreciation will no doubt recognize Sir Edward Downes.  Long one of the world’s brilliant and remarkable conductors, Downes performed with distinction for the BBC Philharmonic and the Royal Opera House of London.  This summer Downes and his wife Joan ended their lives together at an assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland.

Ted and Joan Downes met through the arts. He was the talented young conductor and she a Royal Ballet dancer.  They married 54 years ago, raised two children and lived a remarkable life on Europe’s and Australia’s greatest performing stages.  His particular specialty was Verdi.

At the end, the 85-year old Downes was almost blind and increasingly deaf, a cruel outcome for someone so devoted to music.  They made their final decision to peacefully die together when 74-year-old Lady Downes was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  There was no question that she would not survive, and he could not choose to live without her.  After their passing, the family issued a statement that Ted and Joan “died peacefully, and under circumstances of their own choosing.” Continue reading

August 3, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment