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David Anthony Stuart Atkinson

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David Anthony Stuart Atkinson Obituary
David Anthony Stuart
WOODSTOCK- David Anthony Stuart Atkinson, 90, of Woodstock, N.Y., formerly of N.Y.C., died Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012 with his loving wife Carol at his side.
Known worldwide by his chosen stage name as David Atkinson, he was a retired Canadian baritone and actor.
Born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on Oct. 20, 1921, he was the son of the late William and Edith M. (Burke) Atkinson, and grew up in Saint-Romuald, Quebec.
He studied at Bishop's College School and served in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II in the South Pacific. After the war, he studied music at McGill University in 1946 and the Julliard School in New York. He then began his career as a musical theatre performer in 1948. He continued to study privately with Harry Jompulsky in N.Y.C. Most of his career was spent performing in musicals and operettas in N.Y.C. from the late 1940s throughout the early 1970s, although he did appear in some operas and made a few television appearances. While studying at Julliard, David made his professional opera debut using the name 'David Burke' with the Opera Guild of Montreal (OGM) in 1948 as Monterone in Giuseppe Verdi's "Rigoletto". In 1952, David created the role of Sam in the world premiere of Leonard Bernstein's "Trouble in Tahiti" From 1956-1962, he was the leading performer at the New York City Opera where he starred in several musicals and appeared in the world premieres of several English language operas. His greatest success on the stage came late in his career: the role of Cervantes in "Man of La Mancha", which he portrayed in the original Broadway production (replacing Richard Kiley), the 1968 national tour, and in the 1972 Broadway revival, and the Coachlight Dinner Theatre in Nanuet, N.Y. in 1980. He also starred in several other Broadway productions including "The Girl in Pink Tights" (1954), "The Vamp" (1955), and "Brigadoon" (1957). He notably sang the song "The Impossible Dream" live at the 22nd Tony Awards.
Following his retirement from Broadway, David moved to Woodstock in Upstate N.Y. with his wife, Carol (Zane) Atkinson who survives. In addition to his wife, he is survived by nephew and caretakers, Jim Young and his wife Linda of Westlake, California, and numerous other nephews and nieces. He is also survived by sisters-in-law, Una May Young and Letitia Pang of Honolulu, Hawaii.
Cremation arrangements are under the care of the Gilpatric-VanVliet Funeral Home, 339 Broadway, Ulster Park, N.Y.
Cremation held at Wiltwyck Crematory, Kingston, N.Y., with inurnment at Diamond Head Memorial Park, Honolulu, Hawaii at a later date.
To send an expression of condolence visit David's memorial page: www.GVVFH.com
Published in Daily Freeman on Oct. 8, 2012
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