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Vincent La Selva (September 17, 1929 – October 9, 2017) Founder of a People's Opera Troupe, Dies at 88
Vincent La Selva died October 9, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. He was an American conductor. Born in Cleveland, who began performing at the age of 8, and by the age of 12, he was conducting student performances. He received his bachelor's degree from the Juilliard School, where he has served on the faculty since 1969. After his graduation from Juilliard, he served in the United States Army, where he conducted the First Army band at Fort Jay on Governor's Island.
His idea of presenting free productions began in 1954, when he founded the Xavier Symphony Society, made up of volunteer performers. Gian-Carlo Menotti was so taken by La Selva's performance of The Saint of Bleecker Street, that Menotti had La Selva perform the piece at New York's City Opera. This led to his being hired to conduct the City Opera's orchestra full-time.