Opera Scotland

David Poleri Suggest updates

Born Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania, 1927

Died Lihue, Hawaii, 13 December 1967.

American tenor.

David Poleri had a successful operatic career in his twenties, particularly in the United States and Italy, before concentrating largely on concert work. He was killed in a helicopter crash.

His debut was in 1950 as a member of the San Carlo company, singing Faust and the Duke of Mantua during a visit to Chicago. He appeared widely with the major American opera companies - Chicago, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and New York City, though not at the Met.

He created the role of Michele in the premiere on Broadway of Menotti's The Saint of Bleecker Street (1954), and appeared in the opera's Italian premiere at La Scala in 1956. He returned there to sing Troilus in Walton's Troilus and Cressida at its first performance in Italy.

His Italian debut had been in Florence where he sang Hermann in The Queen of Spades (1953). He returned for two further Tchaikovsky roles - Andrey in Mazeppa (1954) and Charles in The Maid of Orleans (1956).

There were three occasions when he worked in Britain. The first two were as Don Alvaro in Forza with Glyndebourne at the Edinburgh Festivals of 1951 and 1955. A live recording of the first of these has been issued on CD. His only appearances at Covent Garden were as Gustavus in Un ballo in maschera (1956).


Roles in Scotland

Don Alvaro a Peruvian nobleman
Force of Destiny 1951
Force of Destiny 1955

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