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Maestro is undergoing colon surgery. Too much information?

James Conlon, music director of the Ravinia Festival, has cancelled a performance of Britten’s Burning Fiery Furnace in order ‘to remove an inflamed portion of his colon due to diverticulitis’.

The clinical detail has been made public by the festival and by the conductor’s personal publicist, presumably at his request. He clearly wants to be open and upfront about everything, and that is generally to be welcomed in the hyperbolic bubble of unreality inhabited by many maestros. However, one does wonder in this instance whether this not too much information. An announcement that he was undergoing necessary surgery for a non-life-threatening condition might have sufficed.

Mr Conlon is expected to make a full recovery in 3-4 four weeks.

conlon ravinia

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  1. Is it going to be keyhole surgery?

  2. General or local anesthesia? Are the incisions in the abdomen or navel? Come on, we need some details here.

  3. impossible not to notice the that his surname adds only one letter to the word colon.

  4. Richard Barker says:

    I’m sorry for M.° Conlon and hope he recovers quickly. Usually when a singer cancels for reasons of health nobody believes them in the slightest, and especially the agents of rival singers start deliberately putting around rumours of how they are sung out and finished and probably could never have sung the part in the first place.
    For this reason it’s a good idea to be very specific about just what those health reasons are.
    Maybe this applies at least in part to conductors as well, I don’t know.

  5. PK Miller says:

    I suppose when you live your life in a goldfish bowl, and in today’s 24 hr media, Facebook, Twitter, God probably doesn’t want to know what, you don’t have much choice. I doubt if the reality of Pavarotti’s cancer would have been camouflaged, shall we say as capably as it seemed. (I had an aunt who died after a battle was pancreatic cancer. I knew….) I applaud the Maestro for his candor, wish it WASNT necessary but, indeed, if it somewhat quells the rumors….

    Years ago, in high school, I worked in a branch of the Albany (NY) Public Library that was the major business reference library. Our Reference Librarians fielded complex business/finance inquiries that sometimes required a day to research, sometimes in consultation w/a major academic library. Today, a couple clicks on the Internet & one all but knows if the CEO of the company is having an affair, with whom, how many times/week & which hotels etc. And people are worried about privacy…

  6. Mark Stratford says:

    Colon surgery is precisely what Placido Domingo had a couple of years ago, and he made no secret of it.

  7. Remarkably six comments in and no one has bothered to say it: We wish you a speedy recovery, Mr. Conlon. There.

  8. Janie O'Brien says:

    Surely it is not our place to comment or judge what is or isn’t ‘too much information’. People deal with illness in their own unique and individual way. The best way to recovery is for the person to be respected and supported, not criticised.

    I wish Mr Conlon a speedy recovery.

  9. Roberto Gonzalez says:

    What an unfortunate combination of nouns: fiery furnace and colon surgery??? UGH…

    I wish the Maestro a speedy recovery…

  10. Michael Wilkinson says:

    Diverticulitis is horrid (I speak from experience) and the removal of part of the colon happens in only the most severe cases. Mr Conlon should have our best wishes and prayers for his recovery.

  11. If it makes him feel better to be open about his medical problem, so be it – this is his personal decision and we should respect it as such. My sincere wish for a full and speedy recovery is the only thing that i would like to convey to Maestro James Conlon who is a fine musician and a truly decent human being.

  12. till the virtual is recognized, would everybody just do this

    if i am not for myself, who am i?

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