David Rendall

born 11 October 1948 London

Rendall received his education at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Olive Groos and Alexander Young, and at the Salzburg Mozarteum. In 1973 he won a singing contest and was awarded 1975 a Gulbenkian scholarship.

1975, he came to his official stage debut at the Glyndebourne Touring Company in the role of Ferrando in "Così fan tutte". He came into England very successfully at the Festival of Glyndebourne (1976, again, as Ferrando, and later as Belmonte in "The abduction from the seraglio" and as Tom Rakewell in "The rake's progress" by Stravinsky, at the Welsh National Opera, Cardiff (1985), at the English National Opera in London, and especially since 1975 at the Covent Garden Opera in London.

At the latter stage, he debuted in 1975 as the Italian Singer in "Der Rosenkavalier" by Richard Strauss, and then there was Don Ottavio in "Don Giovanni", as Count Almaviva in Rossini's "Barber of Seville", as Matteo in "Arabella" by Richard Strauss, and heard in Rossini's "La donna del lago" and as a young sailor in "Tristan und Isolde" by Richard Wagner.

He has performed at La Scala (1979 as Tom Rakewell), at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, at the State Operas of Vienna (1978: Ottavio, twice; 1988: Matteo, thrice), Munich and Hamburg, the opera houses of Cologne, Geneva, Lyon (1983 title role in "Damnation de Faust" by Berlioz), Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires (1981), at the opera house of Zürich (1985) and at the Paris Grand Opéra.

American guest appearances took him, since 1978, to the New York City Opera (debut as Rodolfo in "La bohème"), the operas of Ottawa and San Francisco (1978: Ottavio, six times during October; 1980: Ernesto, five times during September/October) and finally to the Metropolitan Opera New York, where he on February 28th, 1980 sang as a departure role Ernesto in "Don Pasquale".

In the following years he was there in such roles as Tamino (12 January 1981), Alfredo (21 April 1981), Don Ottavio (25 April 1981) in "Don Giovanni", Belmonte (27 April 1984) in "The abduction from the seraglio", the title character (1 January 1987) in "La clemenza di Tito" by Mozart, Ferrando (29 January 1983) in "Così fan tutte", Lenskij (23 April 1985) in "Eugene Onegin", Alfred (4 December 1986) in "Die Fledermaus", David ("Meistersinger" on 22 February 1985) and Matteo (10 February 1983) in "Arabella" by Richard Strauss. One of his greatest successes he achieved on January 17, 1986 as the title character in "Idomeneo" by Mozart. His last performance at the Met was as Ferrando on April 9th, 1988.

In 1987 he sang at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris as Tamino in "Die Zauberflöte", in Glyndebourne Belmonte in 1988 and Tom Rakewell in 1989, also in 1989, Tito at the Festival of Aix-en-Provence. In 1990 he performed at the English National Opera in London as Cavaradossi in "Tosca", in 1993 as Gabriele Adorno in Verdi's "Simon Boccanegra", 1989/90 at Covent Garden as the Duke in "Rigoletto" and Matteo, 1991 at the Opéra Bastille in Paris as Tamino, 1992 at the opera house of Leipzig as Werther by Massenet.

In 1992, he worked at the Teatro Zarzuela in Madrid, in the opera "The duenna" by Roberto Gerhard, in the role of Don Antonio. 1994, guest performance at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires as Pylades in Gluck's "Iphigénie en Tauride" and the Opéra du Rhin in Strasbourg as Lohengrin, 1996 at the English National Opera as Cavaradossi and the Teatro Carlo Felice Genoa as Hoffmann in "The tales of Hoffmann."

He was especially admired as a great Mozart interpreter, as Duke in "Rigoletto" by Verdi, as Rodolfo in Puccini's "La bohème", as Pinkerton in "Madama Butterfly", as Alfredo in "La traviata", as Tom Rakewell, as Leicester in "Mary Stuart" by Donizetti. Other roles included: Almaviva, des Grieux, Rodrigo (La donna del lago), Flamand, Otello (Glyndebourne), Radames, Canio (Florentine Opera in 1998), ... Rendall found some controversy when he accidentally stabbed baritone Kimm Julian in the death scene of Pagliacci during a rehearsal. The switchblade-style knife that the Milwaukee opera company used failed to collapse, and the baritone received a 3-inch-deep cut into his abdomen. Julian recovered and police cleared Rendall of any wrongdoing, though not before the local press hinted darkly about past violence in the English tenor's personal life.

He was an internationally known concert and Oratoriensänger, and married to Diane Montaigue.

Recordings: CBS fan (Ferrando in "Così fan tutte", "La rondine" by Puccini), Harmonia Mundi (Missa solemnis by Beethoven), HMV (Mozart's Requiem, Leicester in "Mary Stuart" by Donizetti, "Ariodante" by Händel), Chandos ("The apostles" by E. Elgar), TER-Fono ("The student prince" by Romberg), DGG (religious music of Anton Bruckner).
John Freere Perry
His career ended when Rendall suffered a shattered hip, and damage to both shoulders and his left knee when a moving stage caused part of the set to collapse on top of him. He has had a knee and hip replacement as well as extensive shoulder surgery.
Reference: Evening Standard, Daily Mail

David Rendall sings Pagliacci: Vesti la giubba
I wish to thank John Freere Perry for the biographical notes and pictures.

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