One of the 20th century’s most influential teachers, Boris Goldovsky (1908–2001) brought a distinguished musical lineage to NEC, where he led the opera program beginning in 1942 and continuing through the 1960s. In 1946 Serge Koussevitzky invited him to direct the BSO’s opera training program at Tanglewood, where he presented important U.S. premieres of Mozart and Britten operas, among others. Also in 1946, Goldovsky founded New Engand Opera Theatre (later Goldovsky Opera Theatre), with performances in thousands of U.S. cities and towns until 1984.
Former students include opera impresarios Sarah Caldwell ’46, ’79 hon. D.M., Phyllis Curtin ’49, ’81 hon. D.M., and Janice Mancini del Sesto ’71. Goldovsky’s special attention to the opera audience included advocacy of English translation, attention to singers’ acting skills, his role as radio commentator on Metropolitan Opera broadcasts from 1943 to 1990, and work in televised opera during the earliest years of television. He is seen in photo in his 1961 public television staging of Dido and Aeneas. Goldovsky received an honorary Doctor of Music degree from NEC in 1989.