Parlando: The COC Blog


In Memory: Joan Watson


We were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our Principal Horn player, Joan Watson, on Thursday, March 12. Joan was a mainstay of the COC Orchestra for over 20 years, bringing her immense talent and indomitable spirit not only to the orchestra, but to the company as a whole. Her fortitude and strength was visible to the very end, even playing the first rehearsal for the company’s performances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music earlier this month. Unfortunately, she was unable to participate in the tour. All of us at the COC offer our condolences to her husband, COC tuba player Scott Irvine, her family, and her many friends and colleagues. She will be greatly missed.

"Joan’s sudden passing is a great shock and loss for all of us. It is hard to imagine, that she won't be sitting in the Principal Horn chair any more - a chair she gave special distinction and authority to. She was a great force full of energy. Her passion for everything she was doing was exemplary. Interested in passing on her vast experience to the next generations, made her a highly estimated mentor and motivator for so many young musicians. It was her idea to bring our own COC Orchestra Academy into being. Until the very end of her life she was working on that project committedly. We hope that this project will further grow and blossom, giving us all an opportunity to keep her memory alive." — Johannes Debus, COC Music Director

Joan Watson (left) performs with artists of the COC Orchestra at the company’s 2015/2016 Season Announcement on January 14, 2015. 


Joan Watson and husband Scott Irvine perform in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, 2014. 


Joan Watson and COC Music Director Johannes Debus perform in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, 2014. 


Joan Watson performs in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, 2012.

Banner: Karen E. Reeves. Photos: Chris Hutcheson; Karen E. Reeves. 

Posted by Canadian Opera Company / in In Memory / comments (2) / permalink

RICHARD ILOMAKI (3/18/2015 11:14:53 AM)
I will miss her friendship, her mentoring but mostly her inspiration and enthusiasm.
Scott Irvine (3/21/2015 12:55:45 PM)
Thank you for this.

Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001



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