We have lost a formidable presence in the music world. Lofti Mansouri died in his home in San Francisco on Friday, August 30th of complications due to his pancreatic cancer. In Toronto, we are grateful for having had his influence at the Canadian Opera Company from 1976 to 1988. He is responsible for establishing the COC chorus, the COC Ensemble Studio program and, most notably, the use of surtitles; the latter adopted internationally as a means to reach a wider audience. This arrived from the belief that opera should not be elitist, but enjoyed by the masses. Although he went on to work for the San Francisco Opera Company for 13 years, in Canada his indelible influence will be felt and appreciated for years to come.