David Lloyd, past director of Lake George Opera, posthumously honored in Albany

Betty Little

March 08, 2013

            David Lloyd, a renowned tenor and past director of the Lake George Opera, was honored by the State Legislature this past week.  The Senate and Assembly adopted resolutions recognizing Lloyd’s opera career and lifetime contributions to the arts.

            Lloyd died in New York City on February 8, 2013, at the age of 92.

            “As director of the Lake George Opera for close to 20 years, David Lloyd was an innovator promoting opera performed in English and developing the acting skills of young performers,” said Senator Little.  “While opera fans recognize Lloyd’s many accomplishments as a performer, his lasting legacy, in my opinion, is that of a mentor who encouraged and fostered the careers of many others.”

            “It’s an honor to recognize such a distinguished and accomplished person who made an indelible mark on our community and the world of opera,” said Assemblyman Stec.  “Mr. Lloyd leaves behind a legacy for his love of music for many generations to enjoy.”

            Lloyd  was a graduate of Minneapolis College of Music and Curtis Institute  of  Music.  Lloyd  was  booked  for appearances with a half dozen major orchestras in the 1959-1960 season, and toured trans-continentally with the  Boston  Opera's  production  of Offenbach's  Voyage  to  the  Moon.  In Europe, he was well-known at the festivals in Prades, Athens, Glyndebourne and Edinburgh.

               Having been identified with numerous recording labels, Lloyd's recording of the Messiah with Leonard Bernstein and the New  York Philharmonic is the  most popular recording of this oratorio.  He also made numerous appearances in televised opera with NBC and Omnibus  working with Bernstein and Kirk Browning.

               Lloyd held faculty and administrative positions with the State University of Iowa and West Virginia University in vocal instruction, Hunter College CCNY  as  director of the Hunter Opera Workshop, Krannert Center University of Illinois as director of opera, and at Juilliard School of Music as director of the American Opera Center.

               David Lloyd's most enduring contribution to opera in America was as general director of the Lake George Opera  Festival  from 1962  to 1980, where he promoted opera in English and the development of young singer/actors.  He started  the  first  Apprentice  Artist  Program along  with  his colleague John Crosby in Santa Fe, New Mexico, produced world premiers of American works, and began Contemporary American Opera Studio  (CAOS),  featuring  new American Operas with Lake George artists and composers, while fostering the careers of hundreds of young performers.

               Following his retirement from Juilliard, Lloyd served as director of the William Matheus Sullivan Foundation, continuing his commitment to developing and funding careers of young artists.  In addition, he served on the board of the American Guild of Musical Artists as a lifetime member.

            Lloyd served in World War II as a naval aviator, flying with baseball great Ted Williams and actor Robert Stack.  

            Lloyd is survived by his wife, Barbara Wilson Lloyd, his son and daughter David Thomas and Theresa Treadway Lloyd, a grandson and several nieces and nephews.