11 February 2013

David Lloyd, 92, Tenor Who Sang in U.S. Premieres of Albert Herring and War and Peace, Has Died

News David Lloyd LG 213
David Lloyd as Pierre with Helena Scott
(Natasha) in the 1957 NBC Opera Theater
telecast of War and Peace


Minneapolis, MN, February 29, 1920 — New York, NY, February 8, 2013

Admired as a singer, educator and company manager, the tenor was educated at Minneapolis College of Music and the Curtis Institute and saw service as a U.S. Navy aviator during World War II.  At the beginning of his singing career, Lloyd attracted attention at the Tanglewood Music Festival, where he was chosen by Serge Koussevitzky as a soloist in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and where he sang the title role in the 1949 U.S. premiere of Albert Herring, directed by Boris Goldovsky.

In 1950, Lloyd made his debut at New York City Opera as David in the company's first performance of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.  In his thirteen seasons with NYCO, Lloyd sang lyric tenor roles in a number of other company premieres, including Wolf-Ferrari's The Four Ruffians (Filipeto, 1951), Wozzeck (Andrès, 1952), L'Heure Espagnole (Gonzalve, 1952), The Abduction from the Seraglio (Pedrillo, 1957), The Rape of Lucretia (Male Chorus, 1958), Capriccio (Flamand, 1965) and Monteverdi's Il Ritorno di Ulisse in Patria (Eumete, 1976).  He made his Glyndebourne debut in 1957, as Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos. Throughout the 1950s and '60s, Lloyd was a highly active concert and oratorio artist who sang and recorded with such conductors as Fritz Reiner, Bruno Walter, Dimitri Mitropoulos and Leonard Bernstein.

Lloyd made several appearances in NBC Opera Theater's telecasts in the 1950s, notably Dialogues of the Carmelites (1957), in which he sang the Chaplain, and Pierre in the American premiere of Prokofiev's War and Peace on January 13, 1957, at that time the longest televised opera in TV history, at two and 1/2 hours. On Omnibus in 1955, Lloyd was the tenor soloist in Messiah, conducted by Bernstein, who also paced him in a popular (and still available) 1956 recording of the oratorio with the New York Philharmonic. In 1969, Lloyd was Skuratov in WNET Opera Theater's U.S. premiere of From the House of the Dead.

Lloyd was artistic director (1962–65) and then general director (1965–80) of the Lake George Opera Festival, now known as Opera Saratoga.  At Lake George, Lloyd promoted the performance of opera in English and twentieth-century works, founded a vigorous apprentice artist program and formed the Contemporary American Opera Studio (CAOS).  He also held faculty and administrative positions with the State University of Iowa and with West Virginia University in vocal instruction; with Hunter College CCNY as director of the Hunter Opera Workshop; with the University of Illinois as director of opera at the Krannert Center; and at the Juilliard School of Music as director of the American Opera Center (1986-88).  Following his retirement from Juilliard, Lloyd was director of the William Matheus Sullivan Foundation. spacer 


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