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Recorded with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, 'Great Tenor Arias' released today
Throughout his teenage years, David Pomeroy of Newfoundland and Labrador played in a hard rock band, covering everything from Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Poison, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin and Guns ’N’ Roses.
“When I auditioned for music school and got in, the voice teacher (said I) could be an opera singer (since) my voice was really strong, I guess because I had been screaming for my teenage years,” Pomeroy said.
“I didn’t hear my first opera until I was 21. … The music is hardcore. It comes from the gut. I love that sensation of when it’s all working, you really do feel alive.”
After years of travelling the world as a sought-after tenor residing in Toronto, Pomeroy moved back to St. John’s just over a year ago. And while he still flies the world for operatic roles — when there isn’t a pandemic — the 47-year-old is releasing his debut album, something he has wanted to do for decades.
It’s called “Great Tenor Arias” and was recorded with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra (NSO).
“I thought it was thrilling,” Pomeroy said of the recording process. “The level of the orchestra is so high now and you could just see the commitment in the room. It was just silent all the time. Very focused.”
Working two hours a night over a four-night period, Pomeroy and the NSO recorded 10 arias, nine of which are on the album.
“These are the arias that I sing from operas around the world,” Pomeroy said.
Included on the album are arias from Bizet’s “Carmen,” Gounod’s “Faust” and Puccini’s “Turandot.”
“It’s my legacy (and) it’s also the orchestra’s legacy. I’ve been doing this on the stage for 25 years, when am I going to do a CD? It’s always been a dream.”
But there are also recordings of arias from operas he hopes to be a part of in the future, such as Wagner’s “Lohengrin.”
And while having the CD is a way to show the head of opera houses what his voice is capable of, this wasn’t the primary reason behind the project.
“It’s my legacy (and) it’s also the orchestra’s legacy,” Pomeroy said. “I’ve been doing this on the stage for 25 years, when am I going to do a CD? It’s always been a dream.”
One of the people behind making that dream a reality is Laura Ivany, a cellist in the NSO, who first met Pomeroy when she was asked to help secure funding for the project, since she has a background in grant writing.
“I travelled with David for about a year and a half,” she said. “And through all those travels we were planning this CD project.”
And somewhere during the process of securing funding, rehearsing, recording and editing, the two became partners. Or as Pomeroy likes to say, Ivany is his beloved.
“It sounds very romantic, but I’ve heard many opera singers call their partners that,” Ivany said, laughing. “It’s not as special as you’d think.”
Now that the recording is finished, Ivany says they are relieved.
“Even to think we got the recording done when we did, is a miracle,” she said. “It was just after snowmageddon (and) right before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. And so, in that perfect window, we were able to capture four nights of the orchestra with David here at Memorial University.”
Pomeroy’s debut album will be available for purchase today at Fred’s Records on Duckworth Street in downtown St. John’s, and available for downloading and streaming across all major platforms.
The album was produced by Grammy- and Juno-award-winner Denise Ball, and the NSO was conducted by Marc David.
Pomeroy will sign copies of his debut CD at Fred’s Records on Sunday from 2-4 p.m.
“Fred’s Records is providing a COVID-19 safe environment for all patrons,” a news release stated.
Andrew Waterman reports on East Coast culture.