Lloyd Newton, Founder and Artistic Director of multi-cultural Pegasus Opera Company sadly died of lung cancer last weekend 13/14 January, 2017.
Lloyd worked tirelessly in the arts as a performer and later Artistic Director to give opportunities to BAME performers to work on stages where they are traditionally under represented. He also encouraged diverse audiences to engage with opera.
Lloyd was a pioneer who dedicated his life to redressing underrepresentation of BAME performers in opera. He worked tirelessly across geographical boundaries to ensure opera music was accessible to all; his generosity and dedication in reaching out to people of all nationalities, across the age range, irrespective of background or personal circumstance is testimony to the man Lloyd was – a real people’s champion. Whether it was arts, education or campaigning for change, Lloyd was always ready to carry the fight to the masses. He will be greatly missed.
Lloyd has served his community as a secondary school music education teacher for 15 years and as a voice teacher for over 25 years. Lloyd has also been instrumental in raising funds for Hope and Homes for Children, Warchild Charities and The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust. Pegasus Opera also gave a Gala Performance in association with The College of Occupational Therapists at The Royal Opera House Covent to raise awareness of the work undertaken by Occupational Therapists in helping treat people with mental, physical and social problems.
Lloyd was a nominee for the Creative Britons Award in 1998 and 1999 and also received an award from The Voice Newspaper in 1998 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the BAME communities at both local and national levels.
Lloyd performed under the name of Bernard Abervandana and is credited with a number of distinguished performances with English National Opera, the Royal Opera House and Glyndebourne Festival. He also toured with Opera North and with The Royal Shakespeare Company. He performed internationally at the Lucerne Festival, Switzerland, at the Orange Festival in France and also in Zimbabwe, Northern & Southern Ireland; Portugal and New York, USA.
Due to lack of funding Lloyd has largely carried out the role of the Artistic Director of Pegasus Opera Company on a voluntary basis with occasional honorariums for management and supervision.
Pegasus Opera Company is recognised as the leading, multiracial, mid-scale professional touring opera company in the UK, now in its 25th Year. Pegasus Opera has toured nationally and internationally delivering acclaimed productions of Falstaff, Magic Flute, Carmen, Love Portion, Uncle Remus, Porgy and Bess, I Pagliacci and Koanga & Treemonisha.
Pegasus’ educational work has been an integral part of the organisation, culminating in the establishment of Pegasus Opera Singing Academy (POSA) in 2009, a free educational programme aimed at young people aged 8-19 years old. Pegasus Opera has also formed an Intergenerational Choir (Age 12 -112) working with members of the local communities in Lambeth, enabling them to discover the joys of singing, across all genres and styles of music, from pop to classical music.
Pegasus was rooted in community arts and built lasting relationships with a multitude of stakeholders, including local authorities, schools, local and national arts initiatives and policy makers.
Lloyd is survived by 4 brothers, 2 sisters, 25 nieces, 20 nephews a son and a daughter.
Pegasus Opera Launch