The unbridled enthusiasm and generosity which greeted my proposal - just a couple of short months ago - to develop a website in Johan's memory and honour surprised, pleased and humbled me in equal measure. From the outset, it was clear to me that Johan's star continues to shine as brightly and as relentlessly as ever, and that he is remembered with love, respect and delight by many around the globe.
It is an impossible task to single out the individuals who have contributed valuable time and treasured material to this homage to Johan, but it would be very remiss of me not to particularly thank Johan's beloved mother, Baby (who turns 91 on July 15), and his equally dear sisters, Margie and Susan - like Johan, extremely kind, sweet and oh so generous; it clearly runs in the family! - who welcomed me into their lives and who proceeded to entrust their carefully and lovingly preserved personal archives to my care. A similar level of deep gratitude goes to David Pountney, arguably Johan's principal artistic collaborator, and Lady Pamela Harlech, Johan's close friend and travelling companion.
A huge grazie mille, in no specific order - and with a plea for indulgence to those I may inadvertently have overlooked - to:
Nadya Cohen, Mannie Manim, Kaffe Fassett, Aki Nuredini, Lynn Lane, Fabrice Kebour, Jacques Lange, Karl Forster, Mark Lyons, Ruphin Coudyzer, Jill Ross, Lisa Kloos, Celesté Reynolds, Noluthando Lobese, Katrin Böhnisch, Daniel Koch, Tristram Kenton, Todd Rosenberg, Berniece Friedmann, Nick Allott, Duncan Reyburn, Jackie Pass, Ismail Mohamed, Chris Thoren, Douglas Clayton, The Opera Rara team (Henry, Aurelie and Aoife), Emil Rinstad, Andre Comploi, Sophia Kompotiati, Michael Moody, Honoré Buisson, Christiaan Harris, Stephen Vaughan, Vincent Pontet, Brian Mitchell ...... the list could go on and on and on ....