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Palm Beach Opera Conductor Dies

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida (AP) — Anton Guadagno, artistic director and principal conductor of the Palm Beach Opera for the past 18 years, has died. He was 79.

Guadagno died of a heart attack Friday night in Vienna, Austria, according to a statement from the Palm Beach Opera. He had conducted "Otello" in St. Margarethen, Austria, the night before his death.

A native of Italy, Guadagno had for the past 30 years conducted operas at the Vienna Staatsoper, where he was a resident conductor.

He also had served as music director at the Philadelphia Lyric Opera; principal conductor for the Cincinnati Opera; director of the Conservancy and Symphony of Arequipa, Peru; music director of the International Opera Season of Bellas Artes in Mexico City; and director of the Opera Nacional of Lima, Peru.

He also was musical director of Monterrey Opera in Mexico, where he met and conducted famed tenor Placido Domingo.

Guadagno held degrees in orchestra conducting, composition and band instrumentation from the Conservatorio Vincenzo Bellini in Palermo, Italy, and the Conversatorio di Santa Cecila in Rome. He later attended the Salzburg Mozarteum, where he studied under Herbert von Karajan and won a first prize for conducting in 1948.

He has conducted performances at some of the world's foremost opera houses, including New York's Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center, the Paris Opera and London's Royal Opera House at Covent Garden.

Survivors include his wife, Dolores, and a son, Steven, who is also a conductor.

Funeral services are pending.