Welcome

Welcome, and thank you for dropping in!

After a long and successful career performing the great tenor roles at the world’s leading opera houses, I  unfortunately had to retire prematurely following a serious injury sustained on stage during a performance of Aida. That’s me below, as Canio in Pagliacci, from a production in Portland, Oregon.

Vesti la giubba

I’m starting this blog as a way of communicating with opera lovers on the Web who might remember some of my performances, and are curious about what happened to me. It’s an opportunity for me to share some of my experiences and anecdotes, as well as excerpts from some of my performances that are not widely available. Just click on the appropriate menu option at the top of the page.

I’ll be adding more content over the coming weeks and months, so do look in again. In the meantime, here’s some audio to go with the picture….

Recitar … Vesti la giubba

No! Pagliaccio non son

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25 thoughts on “Welcome

  1. Dear David,

    I wonder if you remember – after a rehearsal of La Damnation de Faust in Lyon (1983) we went out into the balmy September evening and you sang so beautifully Faust’s Easter Hymn to our choral accompaniment – I played guitar (in the original Berlioz arrangement of course!) What fun you were and we had and how we amazed the locals on the street that night!

    Best wishes, Mike

  2. Dear David,

    I wonder if you remember – after a rehearsal of La Damnation de Faust in Lyon (1987) we all went out into the balmy September evening and you sang en plein air so beautifully Faust’s Easter Hymn to our choral accompaniment – I played guitar (the original Berlioz arrangement of course!) What fun you were and we had and how we amazed the locals on the street that night!

    Best wishes, Mike

    • Hi Mike,

      Thank you so much for your message. I have so many happy memories of Lyon and the Festival Berlioz. What a pleasure it was to be involved with such a wonderful piece of music in a really great production.
      Even after 32 almost 33 years I remember the occasion, but where we were evades me. I am sure copious amounts of wine were consumed.

      With best wishes, David

  3. Dear David

    I have just spent a wonderful couple of hours watching the magnificent ENO production of Mary Stuart on DVD.
    I remember as a student coming to London to see it three times, and being thrilled each time by your magnificent singing of Leicester.
    Thank you, thank you, as a teacher of singing, it is that kind of freedom, focus and artistry that I hope to encourage in my students, and the DVD will be coming to Oslo with me next week as I want my students there to see and hear what great ‘Bel Canto’ singing really is.
    All best wishes

    Paul Farrington.

    • Dear Paul,

      Thank you for your message and very kind comments. I remember the performances of Mary Stuart as if they were yesterday and learned so much, in this formative time of my career, from all my colleagues and production staff, especially John Copley, Charles Mackerras and of course Dame Janet Baker. I hope that your students will be able to learn from my performance and your teaching and go on to have wonderful careers.
      With all best wishes,

      David Rendall

  4. Hello David. Surfing Yoytube following a performance of opera as you do and came across your blog via listening to The Apostles! You sang Mahler’s 8th in the Welsh Proms under the baton of Owain Arwel? I was a student then and got a standing ticket in the front and was swept away by the performance. I was in tears when you did your solo which leads to that amazing finale. Shame you weren’t on the TV broadcast that I recorded (on video!!) from Wells Cathedral. Your youthful heroic tenor voice made such an impression on me and just wanted to send best wishes and thanks after all these years
    Emyr
    PS I thought you were the dishiest tenor of that time. Britain’s answer to Carreras!

  5. Hello Im a tenor also and
    I’ve just discovered your voice through a video of you singing dies bildnis in youtube and I think you are amazing, I love your interpretation and your technique!, I can see that you started your carreer with lighter stuff and then moved to stuff like pagliaccio, did you change your technique for that to happen or the voice changed alone?. Again Congrats for your singing and your voice I put it all the way up there with the corellis and the bjorlings !

    • Hi Adrian, Thank you for your kind comment. I don’t know your age, but in my career I went through at least 3 changes in my voice. By changes I mean development and voice growth. Age will do that. the first change was when I was about 30 years of age, again at 40 and also at around 50. I didn’t consciously change my vocal technique but became aware of changes in the passaggio (changes in the vocal registers) and I had to learn, each time, how to get through this area of the voice. I listened to myself by recording rehearsals and performances and experimented very gently through that very vulnerable area. Best wishes to you, David.

  6. David – Ruth here, from way back in our teenage years in Morden with ‘Wigg’! Have just been reading another correspondent’s memories of Chailey where of course you/I, having lost touch for a few years, per chance met up once more at The Five Bells – you sitting in a very crowded bar and my having arrived with a few friends for a drink! Thereafter following your career through London performances, visiting you back stage sometimes. All wonderful memories and in my view you never received the public adulation in the way you should (ie such as a modern day Alfie Boe) through popular radio programmes etc, your voice an absolute jewel and acting skills amazing, evoking such heartfelt emotion befitting any role you took on. No one in my view has ever sung Oh Holy Night in the way you do – I don’t think you recorded this? I do hope Diana, the family and you are all well and you are able to enjoy life, although without your beloved stage performances. Love Ruth (Thomas)

  7. Hello David,

    I hope it isn’t intrusive or inappropriate to mention that my pre-ordered copy of the new recording of Kern’s ROBERTA arrived this week. It’s all wonderful, but to my ears the contribution of Diana Montague is particularly outstanding. She sings “Yesterdays” more beautifully than I have ever heard it before.

  8. I heard and saw you on youTube performing Bruckner’s Te Deum and I loved it (es war ganz genau richtig, ich bin begeistert und glücklich). Aplaus und Grüsse von Martin, Freiburg, Germany

  9. Hello David,
    You sang on the first recording of Beethoven’s 9th I ever heard, and even after all these years have gone by and I’ve heard other great performances of this wonderful piece, the one you performed under the baton of Walter Weller in 88 is still my favorite.

    I wish you all the best,

    Stephen

    • Dear Stephen,

      Thank you for your comment. It is really great to be appreciated and remembered.
      I hope that you are enjoying my Blog. Please continue watching as there are some
      beauties coming up.

      Best wishes,

      David

  10. Hi David
    I hope you may remember me from the beginning of your career when you introduced me to opera via Cosi at Glyndebourne when you stayed in Chailey, East Sussex. I worked at the 5 Bells and remember with enormous fondness a rendition of ‘A one way ticket to romantic places’! I wish you continued success and hope to see you again one day. I will be seeing Mary Hadden and Fraser Hadden in two weeks time (she lived at Ades in Chailey and gave many a wonderful dinner party and soirée) so I pass on their best wishes to you as well.
    Wishing you many more happy times. Annie (Hull as was) Latter

    • Dear Annie,
      Your memory is better than mine! Of course I remember the Hadden’s well and the 5Bells run by the Binsteads and the song, but I am sorry I don’t remember you.
      We are of course going back to the mid seventies and memories fade, with the exception of yours that is. My apologies! Please give my very best wishes to
      Mary and Fraser when you next meet. Mary’s husband was Gordon if I remember correctly, so Fraser must have been their son, but I maybe completely wrong.
      Please let me know.

      With best wishes,

      David

  11. This is great! I remember you with great afection from your years at the Met, in Cosi, Traviata and Idomeneo….from your film of Mary Stuart with Dame Janet and how you maintained a weight loss!…also the ENO Rigoletto! I look forward to more posts

    • Thanks Christopher, your kind comments are really meaningful to me. I miss the MET and every other opera house I have performed in. I can’t explain how empty life is without performing, hence this blog, to bring back the memories. Please keep watching and you will find some surprises. Kind regards, David

  12. Great to see you at ENO this evening David. We so miss you, and, as I said to you, you will always be held in great affection by the ENO Chorus in particular. Looking forward to “reading all about it”! With affection, Anton

    • Thanks Anton, it was really great to get out of the house and come up to London. I haven’t been to the opera for so long as I have found it so difficult to sit in a confined space. However, I hope, “The times they are a changing” (touch wood). Please give all my best wishes to everyone I know in the chorus and even those I don’t know. With affection to you also. David

    • Hello Charlotte,

      I’m sorry for not responding sooner, but I must have missed your message. Please continue looking at my posts, as there is so much about my experiences.

      Best wishes,

      David

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