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David DiChiera

April 8, 1935 September 18, 2018
David DiChiera
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Obituary for David DiChiera

Excerpt from the Michigan Opera Theater Website:

Today is a sad, but unfortunately anticipated, day in the history of Michigan Opera Theatre. It is the day we’ve lost our beloved visionary and courageous founder, David DiChiera. He died peacefully at his home surrounded by his loving family. Our hearts go out to David’s family at this time of immense sorrow.

There’s nothing that can be said about David that hasn’t already been said. He was one-of-a-kind, a true leader and impresario, a writer, a creator, a visionary genius, a big-hearted, hard-working, dedicated lover and builder of opera and dance. David loved Detroit, and the role he played in its renaissance with the creation of the spectacular Detroit Opera House we call home is immeasurable. His vision and commitment were beyond extraordinary, and his love for this city and all its residents was boundless. But nothing besides his family was as important to him as Michigan Opera Theatre itself, and all of us who were fortunate enough to have known and worked with him will forever be in his debt.

As David himself wrote when he shared his diagnosis in April 2017: “I have lived a rich and rewarding life, and when the time comes, I’ll leave it with few regrets. Your friendship is among my greatest treasures. You will always be in my heart and I hope some part of me will always be in yours.”

We can confidently say that none of us will ever forget the legacy he left or the man he was: a truly genteel, dignified, warm and loving leader. He will live on in all of our hearts forever.

David is survived by his beloved daughters Lisa DiChiera (John Kane) and Cristina DiChiera (Neal Walsh); grandchildren Aidan James, Julian David Kane and Violetta Elizabeth DiChiera-Walsh; his former wife, Karen VanderKloot DiChiera; his sister Ellen DiChiera Blumer and several nieces and nephews.

A public visitation and funeral service will take place Friday, Sept. 21 at the Detroit Opera House, 1526 Broadway, Detroit. The visitation will begin at 11 a.m., followed by the service at 1 p.m.

Memorial contributions can be made toThe David DiChiera Artistic Fund, c/o Michigan Opera Theatre, 1526 Broadway, Detroit, Michigan, 48226 and to The David DiChiera Music Therapy Program at Henry Ford Health System c/o Mary Jane Vogt, 1 Ford Place, Suite 5A, Detroit, Michigan 48202.


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