Newfoundland born opera star David Pomeroy talks dreams, desire and coming home in an in-depth Q&A that delves deep into a remarkable career
World class Canadian tenor and Newfoundland native, David Pomeroy has been carrying out a dream of traversing the world, performing on the elite stages of opera. Ahead of his return to the island for his Christmas with David Pomeroy performances with the Newfoundland Symphony Opera and appearance for Shelley Neville’s O Holy Night, Pomeroy caught up with The Herald for an in-depth Q&A.
I think its safe to say that, based on your background, there were massive benefits to being exposed to music at a young age.
More than massive. I’d say invaluable! I was really blessed that my first music teacher was also my grandfather, so we were able to spend a lot of time together. My grandfather, Ignatius Rumboldt, taught me singing and piano lessons every Saturday morning on Parade Street, starting when I was seven years old. Most people knew him as “Nish,” but to me, he was “Poppy.” After my hockey games, I’d go for my lessons and we would sing some sacred, Italian, and German songs. Then we’d have stew for lunch and watch boxing on ESPN. We did this every week until I was 14, and then he helped me prepare to audition for Memorial University’s School of Music a few years later.
You’re coming home for your own holiday special, as well as Shelley Neville’s O Holy Night. Has the excitement began to kick in yet?
I’m really lucky to be able to call St. John’s home again, after living in Toronto for 24 years. It’s awesome that my first performance while living back on the rock is my own Christmas special with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra. I’ve sung on many NSO Messiah concerts and Masterworks, but this is my first very own show. It’s going to be pretty special, because Marc David, the conductor, and many of the musicians are lifelong friends of mine. We’ll be doing some great Christmas classics with the Quintessential Vocal Ensemble, plus my only Nessun Dorma performance this holiday season. For me, it’s a really a celebration of coming home, and being back in a permanent way. Being part of Shelley Neville’s O Holy Night has become a tradition for me, and I always love to share the stage with my dear friends.
It is the BEST feeling to be spending my first Christmas in Newfoundland again. I haven’t been able to be back for Christmas in 22 years! I can’t wait to spend time with my parents and my family, and cook my famous turkey dinner for everyone. Obviously, there’ll be a lot of music too! Christmas is always a nice time to slow down and reflect on the past year. It will be a joy to spend as much time as I can with my friends and family before I hit the road again on New Year’s Day.
For tickets and tour dates for David Pomeroy visit davidpomeroy.com. For our complete, uncut Q&A with David Pomeroy, purchase our Dec. 2-8 issue.