George Harewood was an extraordinary powerhouse of a man, full of passion conveyed in his beautifully polished tones. The accent and comportment were entirely natural for George was a Lord: George Henry Hubert Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood. He was the eldest nephew of King George VI and was a first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, but the big thing in his life was music.
In the 1950s he edited Opera magazine and was on the board of the Royal Opera House. From the 70s to the 90s he ran English National Opera – and, for a while, its offshoot Opera North. He also ran no less than three substantial festivals: Leeds, Edinburgh and Adelaide. Lord Harewood served as a governor of the British Broadcasting Corporation from 1985 to 1987 and as the president of the British Board of Film Classification from 1985 to 1996. He is the author or editor of three books, Kobbé’s Complete Opera Book (ed. 1954, now The New Kobbé’s Opera Book, edited with Antony Peattie, latest ed. 1997), The Tongs and the Bones (an autobiography, 1981), and Kobbé’s Illustrated Opera Book (ed. 1989).
His long filmed interview with Maria Callas in 1968 has become a fixture in the classical DVD section.
Harewood had been infirm and in a wheelchair for some time and died of a heart-attack this morning.
George Henry Hubert Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood, KBE AM
(born 7 February 1923 – died 11 July 2011)