- Peter G. Davis
(b New Orleans, March 6, 1927; d New Orleans, Feb 16, 1975). American bass-baritone . He studied with the contralto Elizabeth Wood. After a brief career in New Orleans, where he made his stage début in 1947,he joined the New York City Opera in 1953, singing Colline in La bohème. In 1954 he created the role of Grandpa Moss in Copland’s The Tender Land. For the next 20 years he was a mainstay of that company, singing the major bass-baritone roles of the standard repertory. With a vivid, even flamboyant stage personality, he achieved his greatest successes in such parts as Mephistopheles (Boito and Gounod), Boris, Don Giovanni, Reverend Olin Blitch (Floyd’s Susannah), and Handel’s Julius Caesar.
In 1973 he left the City Opera to broaden his international activities with appearances in Hamburg, London (Covent Garden, Faust, 1973) and Milan. A singer who often sacrificed musical fidelity to a broad theatrical effect, he resembled Shalyapin in many respects but vocally was less generously endowed. His voice was well schooled and serviceable but limited by its dry, throaty and occasionally raspy timbre....