David Lloyd

1912 Clwyd – 1969 Rhyl

Photo of David Lloyd

David Lloyd (Welsh) singsGreensleeves

David Lloyd (Welsh) singsSmilin' through

David Lloyd (Welsh) sings Men of Harlech
In RA format

Biographical notes

He is not to be confused with the US tenor of the same name, a close friend of Eugene Ormandy. David Lloyd's reputation still resounds in Wales 30 years after his death. He studied with the great Walter Hyde at the Guildhall School winning many prizes. Glyndebourne saw him as Macduff in 1938 and Ottavio in 1939. Mozart was the choice for his debut at Sadler's Wells the following year: Ottavio again, then Tamino. WWII spoilt the operatic career, but he gave concerts all over Britain, continuing these into 1950s. In 1954 a fall during a BBC radio broadcast damaged his spine; he did not sing again until 1960 when he returned to the Welsh Eisteddfod scene and pursued a 'patriotic' theme of concerts of Welsh and religious music.

The voice is of overwhelming sweetness and plangency with a ring at the top; good breath control blends with intelligent interpretation. Lloyd often has the ubiquitous and unique Gerald Moore to aid him. His best-selling coupling of Ottavio's & Tamino's arias is I find not as good as its reputation, the technique stretched. But records of e.g. 'Annabelle Lee' (with masterly accompaniment from Moore), 'My lovely Celia' (outdoing Borgioli in style!) and Toselli's 'Serenade' are excellent. An approach that eschews the grand climax in favour of softness (e.g. 'For you alone') can imply a shortfall in stamina – I suspect this is more to do with style than capability. Post-1960s records show the voice drier and rather unsteady (e.g. a 2nd 'Annabelle Lee' awful), but still able to thrill. A patriotic man, he made many records of Welsh tunes with military band, which may not have universal appeal, but his commitment is absolute.

Keith A Shilcock, January 2003

Partial discography

[DB2159] Silent noon.
         Tell me, ye flowerets.

[DB2109] My lovely Celia.
         The English rose.

[DB2124] To the children.
         When night descends.

[DB2012] Bless this house.

[DB1966] All through the night.
         Men of Harlech.

[DB2139] Greensleeves.
         Smilin' through.

[DB2089] For you alone.
         Vale of Mont-Marie.

[DB2061] The gentle maiden.
         Annabelle Lee.

[DB2038] David of the white rock.
         The stars in heaven are bright.

[DB2131] I love thee.
         Songs my mother taught me.

[DB2117] Phyllis has such charming graces.
         Is she not passing fair?

[DB1968] England.

[DB1979] Jesu, lover of my soul.
         Land of my fathers.

[DB1988] Until.

[DX983]  Die Zauberflöte: O loveliness beyond compare.
         Don Giovanni: Speak for me to my lady.
[with:  Gerald Moore (pno);  Choir & Band of The Welsh 
Guards;  Sadler's Wells Orchestra]
I would like to thank Anton Bieber for the label scans and recordings of Greensleeves and Smilin' through.
I wish to thank Richard J Venezia for the recording (Men of Harlech).
I want to thank Keith Shilcock for the picture and discography.

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