David Lloyd, Who Sang With New York City Opera, Dies at 92

February 13th, 2013

David Lloyd, an American tenor who sang leading roles with the New York City Opera in the 1950s, died on Friday in the Bronx. He was 92.

His death, at Calvary Hospital, was confirmed by his son, David Thomas Lloyd.

A lyric tenor, Mr. Lloyd was equally well known as a recitalist and an oratorio singer. 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, Brahms, Fauré and Tchaikovsky.

Reviewing the recital in The New York Times, Raymond Ericson wrote that Mr. Lloyd’s “contributions to the musical life of New York have been as numerous as they have been splendid.”

Mr. Lloyd made his operatic debut with City Opera in 1950, as David in Wagner’s “Meistersinger.” He sang regularly with the company throughout the decade and occasionally thereafter; his roles included Pinkerton in Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly,” the Prince in Rossini’s “Cenerentola,” Alfred in Johann Strauss’s “Fledermaus” and Pedrillo in Mozart’s “Abduction From the Seraglio.”

Notable roles elsewhere include the title part in the United States premiere of Benjamin Britten’s comic opera “Albert Herring,” performed at Tanglewood under Boris Goldovsky in 1949. With the NBC Opera Theater, Mr. Lloyd sang in televised productions of Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel,” Prokofiev’s “War and Peace” and other operas in the 1950s.

As a soloist, Mr. Lloyd was heard with some of the country’s leading orchestras. His European engagements included the Glyndebourne and Edinburgh Festivals.

David Lloyd Jenkins was born in Minneapolis on Feb. 29, 1920. (He dropped the “Jenkins” early in his career, at the suggestion of his management.)

He earned a bachelor’s degree from the Minneapolis College of Music and later attended the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he studied with the Metropolitan Opera baritone Richard Bonelli. During World War II, Mr. Lloyd served as a Navy pilot.

Mr. Lloyd had a second career as an arts administrator and teacher. From 1965 until 1980 he was the general director of the Lake George Opera Festival in upstate New York. (The festival is now known as Opera Saratoga.) From 1985 to 1988 he directed the Juilliard American Opera Center.

Mr. Lloyd’s first wife, the former Maria Shefeluk, a violinist, died before him, as did a son, Timothy Cameron Lloyd, a composer. Besides his son, David Thomas, he is survived by his second wife, Barbara Wilson Lloyd, and a grandson.

His recordings include Bach’s “St. Matthew Passion” and Handel’s “Messiah,” both with the New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, with the Boston Symphony under Serge Koussevitzky.

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