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David Lloyd (Tenor)

Born: February 29, 1920 - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Died: February 8, 2013 - New York City, New York, USA

The American tenor, music pedagogue and company manager, David Lloyd Jenkins (he dropped the “Jenkins” early in his career, at the suggestion of his management), was educated at the Minneapolis College of Music, graduating with Bachelor of Art degree in 1950, and studied voice with the Metropolitan Opera baritone Richard Bonelli at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He saw service as a U.S. Navy aviator during World War II.

At the beginning of his singing career, David Lloyd attracted attention at the Tanglewood Music Festival, where he was chosen by Serge Koussevitzky as a soloist in L.v. Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and where he sang the title role in the 1949 USA premiere of Benjamin Britten’s comic opera Albert Herring, performed at Tanglewood under Boris Goldovsky.

In October 1950 David Lloyd made his operatic debut as David in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at the New York City Opera (NUCO), where he sang regularly until 1958. He appeared there again in 1965 and 1976. In his thirteen seasons with NYCO, he sang lyric tenor roles in a number of other company premieres, including Wolf-Ferrari's The Four Ruffians (Filipeto, 1951), Alban Berg’s Wozzeck (Andrès, 1952), L'Heure Espagnole (Gonzalve, 1952), The Abduction from the Seraglio (Pedrillo, 1957), B. Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia (Male Chorus, 1958), Capriccio (Flamand, 1965) and Monteverdi's Il Ritorno di Ulisse in Patria (Eumete, 1976). Other roles included Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, the Prince in Rossini’s Cenerentola, and Alfred in Johann Strauss’s Fledermaus. His other operatic engagements took him to Boston, Washington, D.C., New Orleans, and St. Paul. In 1955 he sang at the Athens Festival. He made his Glyndebourne Festival debut in 1957, as Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos. His European engagements included also the Edinburgh Festival. He was particularly admired for his roles in operas by Mozart, Rossini, and Richard Strauss.

Throughout the 1950’s and the 1960’s, David Lloyd was a highly active concert and oratorio artist who sang and recorded with such conductors as Fritz Reiner, Bruno Walter, Dimitri Mitropoulos, Leonard Bernstein, Eugene Ormandy, and Paul Paray. He was praised throughout his career for his insightful musicianship, as in a 1961 recital he gave at Judson Hall in New York of works by Purcell, Johannes Brahms, Gabriel Fauré and Tchaikovsky. Reviewing the recital in The New York Times, Raymond Ericson wrote that Lloyd’s “contributions to the musical life of New York have been as numerous as they have been splendid.” As a soloist, he was heard with some of the country’s leading orchestras, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic Orchestra, and Philadelphia Orchestra.

David Lloyd made several appearances in NBC Opera Theater's telecasts in the 1950’s, notably Dialogues of the Carmelites (1957), in which he sang the Chaplain; 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; and Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. On Omnibus in 1955, Lloyd was the tenor soloist in Messiah, conducted by Leonard Bernstein, who also paced him in a popular (and still available) 1956 recording of the oratorio with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1969, Lloyd was Skuratov in WNET Opera Theater's USA premiere of From the House of the Dead.

David Lloyd had a second career as an arts administrator and teacher. He joined the Lake George Opera Festival (now known as Opera Saratoga) in New York in 1963, its second season, as performer and stage director. From 1962 to 1965, he was the company's Artistic Director and from 1965 toi 1980 its General Director. At Lake George, Lloyd promoted the performance of opera in English and 20th-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 in Urbana as director of opera at the Krannert Center (from 1971); and at the Juilliard School of Music as director of the American Opera Center (1985/1986-1988). Following his retirement from Juilliard, Lloyd was director of the William Matheus Sullivan Foundation.

Lloyd’s first wife, the former Maria Shefeluk, a violinist, died before him, as did a son, Timothy Cameron Lloyd, a composer. David Lloys died on February 8, 2013 at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx. He was survived by his son, David Thomas, his second wife, Barbara Wilson Lloyd, and a grandson.

His recordings include J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) and George Frideric Handel’s Messiah, both with New York Philharmonic Orchestra under Leonard Bernstein, and L.v. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Serge Koussevitzky.

David Lloyd in 1952 (by Fabian Bachrach) [05]

David Lloyd as Pierre with Helena Scott (Natasha) in the 1957 NBC Opera Theater telecast of War and Peace (Opera News Archives) [06]

Source: Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Classical Musicians (1997); R.T. - A former company member (March 2011); Obituary in Opera News (February 8, 2013, Author: F. Paulk Driscoll); Obituary in New York Times (February 12, 2013, Author: Margalit Fox)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (August 2001); R.T. (March 2011); Manfred Krugmann (Photos 01-03, July 2011; Dates & Photos 05, February 2013); Arthur Shippee (February 2013); Yoël L. Arbeitman (February 2013)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Leonard Bernstein


BWV 244 [sung in English]

Ifor Jones


BWV 71

Links to other Sites

Lake George Opera Festival (Lake George Mirror Magazine)

Obituary in Opera News [Feb 8, 2013]
Obituary in New York Times [Feb 12, 2013]

Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


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