Acclaimed author, Grand Opera’s PR manager Brian Kellow dies

Acclaimed author, Grand Opera’s PR manager Brian Kellow dies

It is with great sadness that Florida Grand Opera announces the death of Brian Kellow. Brian served as the company’s public relations manager since 2016 and generated an unprecedented level of national press coverage.

“We were beyond fortunate Brian chose Miami after 30 years in New York to become our public relations manager,” said Susan T. Danis, general director & CEO. “Brian developed a special rapport with the staff, press, and theater critics while bringing FGO into a new spotlight. He will be missed.”

Prior to FGO, Kellow joined OperaNews as an assistant editor in 1988, moving on to become managing editor and then executive editor. In that role, he spearheaded the magazine’s 1998 transformation from a 17-issue-per-year publication to a perfect-bound monthly. He was named features editor in 2000.

“Brian was a true force of nature—passionate, witty, sometimes hotheaded, and phenomenally charismatic,” said Fred Cohn, in an OperaNews obituary. “He had a preternatural ability to attract exciting people. His wide circle of friends included writers, actors, singers and academics – without a dullard in the bunch.”

Kellow’s career as a biographer began in 1999, when he coauthored soprano Eileen Farrell’s lively memoir Can’t Help Singing. He went on to write four major biographies—The Bennetts: An Acting Family (2004); Ethel Merman: A Life (2008); Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark (2011); and Can I Go Now, The Life of Sue Mengers (2015).

His prolific writing activity also included contributions to Travel & Leisure, Publishers Weekly, Newsday, Opera, Playbill, BBC Music Magazine, Stereo Review, Irish America, the Wall Street Journal and Opera America. A gracious, relaxed onstage presence—and a natural showman—Kellow was a sought-after emcee, hosting gala concerts for the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, the Gerda Lissner Foundation, the Giulio Gari Foundation and the Martina Arroyo Foundation, along with “Comfort Ye,” his close friend Lauren Flanigan’s annual Christmas benefit for the homeless.

Kellow died of complications from brain cancer. He is survived by his husband, stage director and acting coach, Scott Barnes.

(Source: Fred Cohn, OperaNews)

About Florida Grand Opera
Founded in 1941 as Greater Miami Opera and later merging with The Opera Guild Inc. in 1994, FGO presents a mixture of standard repertoire and contemporary works as well as commissions and new productions — all featuring projected translations in English and Spanish.

As the oldest performing arts organization in Florida, celebrates its 78th Anniversary Season in 2018-19. The main stage operas of the season include Giacomo Puccini’s La bohéme (Nov. 3-17), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro (Jan. 26-Feb. 9), Robert Xavier Rodríguez’s Frida (Mar. 16-31), and Jules Massenet’s Werther (Apr. 27-May 11).

FGO’s Box Office is located at the Doral Center on 8390 NW 25th Street, Miami, FL 33122, and is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday during the season. Season tickets may be purchased online at or by calling 800-741-1010. Single tickets for the 2018-19 season will go on sale to the general public in September 2018.

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