A popular baritone, 52, dies after heated town hall meeting

August 11, 2017 by norman lebrecht


The Welsh baritone Karl Daymond collapsed just as he was about to speak in a heated debate over the future of the Drill Hall in his Chepstow, Monmouthshire. He died soon after, aged 52.

Karl sang roles with English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, the Royal Opera House, Opera North and Glyndebourne. He also guested at Minnesota Opera, Royal Flemish Opera, Dutch National Opera and Garsington.

UPDATE: National Opera Studio writes: In recent years, Karl embraced his passion for community singing, music education and helping people “find their voice”, directing several community choirs in the Chepstow area.

UPDATE: BBC Wales outlines Karl’s career, here.

Comments (27)

  1. John Borstlap says:

    Terrible story. This singer starred in a remarkable Dido film version:

    1. Britcellist says:

      Thank you for sharing this aching beautiful performance. A tragedy in opera and in life.

  2. Basia Jaworski says:

    So terribly sad news!!!!!
    Loved him!
    swa him in as Aeneas in Purcell. And in the Bernstein’s “Trouble in Tahiti”……
    And, don’t forget th Simon Rattle’s recording of In the Town!
    So terribly sad!!!!!!!!,

  3. Sophie says:

    Karl was an extraordinary man and musician. He made so many lives better for the people of Chepstow (my home town) through participation in Music. He’s not leaving a hole in the community, he’s left a whopping great crater.

  4. Rosemary Ellis says:

    What very sad news – he sang Mountjoy in Opera North’s Gloriana. I remember him always having a smile on his face in production. A beautiful voice gone much too soon.

  5. Ungeheuer says:

    Shocking news. Much too young. May he RIP.

  6. Sue says:

    What’s going on? All these musicians dying before age 70. Shocking.

  7. Siobhan says:

    Karl was a beautiful person and gave so much of himself to us, thank you Karl, you will be missed more than words can say.

  8. JOANNA HARVEY says:

    So very very sad, Karl was a wonderful man gave so much of himself to us in the singing club, if there is a heaven he is sure to be there, probably starting another choir allready.
    love to all who are grieving, sad sad loss.

  9. Russell Jones says:

    Karl. How you will be missed. I truely loved you x

    1. carys jones says:

      Shocking news Russell – thinking of you very much and remembering very happy times in Sandfields and London. Carys xxxxx

  10. Heather Phillips says:

    Karl I knew you well at school and have followed your career. Such sad news about such a talented and lovely person. Sleep well.

  11. Nesta Underwood says:

    Karl. My lovely friend. You were ALWAYS there for me and my boys. I am truly heartbroken as many are. Truly devastated. Where will I get those cwtches from now? Xx

  12. Roger Kerley says:

    Karl gave so much joy and inspiration to the local community he will be sadly missed.
    I guess i am lucky in that i have a lasting memory of working with him in “Pack up your Troubles” .So sad

  13. Lyn and John says:

    Not just a rare talent but a delightful, caring, warm man whose love of life shone from him and touched so many people. We are so lucky to have known him. May his light keep on shining, Goodnight God bless xx

  14. Sue Simpson says:

    Karl was a big man with a big voice and a very BIG Heart – You Gave so much and just kept on giving – and you had lots more to give. Thank you Karl I feel so very honoured to have had you in my life. The Chepstow Singing Club brought Sunshine into our lovely little Town of Chepstow and I was very proud to be part of this. Please keep Singing loud with your wonderful voice so that we can all hear you. Good night Karl – Cariad Sue Simpson XXXXXX

  15. Glenn Crooks says:

    R.I.P. Karl I haven’t seen you since the Eighties but still remember you well from the West Glamorgan Youth Choir days. Best wishes to the family and close friends. Glenn Crooks.

  16. Izzy Harris says:

    To all those that have commented, thank you endlessly for your kind words. I am Karl’s niece, Izzy, and write on behalf of his close family including his sister, Siân.
    Karl’s death was a shock beyond words.
    From the day I was born, my uncle Karl has been my role model, my inspiration and always the biggest supporter of whatever I did. Karl has always had the warmest smile, the kindest heart, the sincerest words and the biggest hugs.
    I can not believe he will not be here to see everybody he loved and to bring out the best in people from every background. That is what he did best, and will be the thing people will miss the most. He was my best friend.

    1. Vicky Sidwell-Brown says:

      Izzy, what gorgeous words, your uncle was clearly incredibly proud of you.
      As a member of Chepstow singing club I can only agree with everyone’s comments. what a fantastic, lovely man Karl was. So kind and generous and always so positive – encouraging our musicianship and singing abilities.
      Karl played piano and singing club sang at my wedding service back in 2013. I have a full audio church recording of the service and will cherish it forever. Karl’s playing was so beautiful, and the contributions from him and singing club made our wedding day incredibly special.
      Everyone who knew and loved him, sang with him and shared his passions will miss him incredibly.
      Lots of love and thoughts to you and all Karls loved ones xxxx

    2. Nesta says:

      (((Cwtches for you)))
      I would love to be able to say the right words to ease the heartache Ian, you snd your family are going through right now. Im sorry I cant find the right words to help. Please try to feel some comfort in knowing how many people loved and respected him. His passing has broken so many hearts. His zest for life, living and music will carry on. Much love to you all. Xx

  17. Bea Tucker says:

    So ,Sad to hear this news Every comment made about this wonderful human being is so true We loved him dearly and will miss him .we send love and hugs to Sian, David and Izzy thinking of you so much at this dreadful time we send you love and warm feelings .Sleep tight wonderful memories of you Dear Carl Xx Bea and Trev .

  18. Izzy Harris says:

    Thankyou again to everyone for their kind words regarding my uncle Karl. Some people have enquired about flowers, however we as a family have decided to fundraise in Karl’s memory, for the Kaleidescope Trust. You can donate here at the following web address-

    1. Russell Jones says:

      Dear Izzy. Do you have any detail regarding the funeral arrangements?
      My deepest heartfelt sympathy to your Mum and family.

      1. Izzy Harris says:

        Hi Russel. Thankyou for your warm words. We are organising a big celebration day in memory of Karl’s life on 10th September. There will be music, speeches and cake. I will put the link to the Event below. You would be very welcome at this event.

        1. Russell Jones says:

          Thank you .

        2. Nesta Underwood says:

          Cake…Karl would be impressed by cake. X

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