Remembering Melvyn Poll
Temple member Melvyn Poll, spouse of Rosalind Poll,
father of Sydney Poll Calvo & Shaya Calvo and Ryan & Lisa Poll,
and grandfather of Sasha & Eli Poll and Sally Calvo,
died on January 12, 2017 – 14 Tevet 5777.
If you wish to make a donation to Temple De Hirsch Sinai
in memory of Melvyn Poll, please click here.
If you wish to make a donation to the Seattle Symphony, please click here.
The family also recommends a donation to the charity of your choice.
Zichrono Livracha, May his memory be for a blessing.
As many of you know, Melvyn’s love of music began at Temple De Hirsch Sinai in the children’s choir, directed by Samuel Goldfarb. He was a graduate of the Lakeside School, University of Washington undergraduate and the UW Law School, before starting his professional career as Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Boheme with the Kaiserslautern Opera in Germany. His singing led him to New York, Europe and the Middle East to sing at the New York City Opera, Israel National Opera, Wuppertal Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Mostly Mozart Festival, Seattle Opera, Avery Fisher Hall, Carnegie Hall and the Seattle Symphony, and to work with such notable conductors as Sergiu Commissiona, Leonard Slatkin, Peter Maag, Julius Rudel, Gerard Schwartz and Rainer Miedel
The desire to be closer to family drove him and the family to move back to Seattle, where Melvyn became Cantor at Temple De Hirsh Sinai, bringing him back to the music that started it all. After leaving temple he developed real estate and continued his love of opera by continuing to perform with the Seattle Symphony, teaching at the UW, getting involved with and chairing the local MET auditions and most recently teaching a few select singers. At the end of the day, he would tell you that singing the National Anthemn at the Husky football games was a highlight of his life.
Throughout it all he took enormous pride in caring for his family through countless celebratory dinners, almost annual trips to Hawaii and was an entertaining and generous friend.
Read more about Melvyn
Melvyn Poll made his operatic debut in 1970 in Kaiserslautern, Germany. He then spent three seasons with the Israel National Opera and made his American debut at New York City Opera in 1974 where he sang the tenor leads in “La Boheme”, “Madama Butterfly”, “La Traviata”, “Lucia Di Lammermoor”, and “Faust”.
His career was put on hold in 1977 when he donated a kidney to his brother, but resumed a year later when he accepted a contract with the Wuppertal Opera, Germany, where, as well as the standard repertoire, he also sang Belioz’s “Benvenuto Cellini” and Shostakovich’s “Lady Macbeth Of Mtsensk”, in a much acclaimed performance, which was it’s European premier.
He returned to Seattle with his family to become the Cantor / Musical Director of Temple Di Hirsch Sinai in 1981. His guest appearances included opera and symphony performances with Mostly Mozart, New York; Chicago Lyric Opera; New York Chamber Symphony; Seattle Opera; Seattle Symphony; American Symphony, Carnegie Hall; New York City Opera, Kennedy Center, Washington D.C.; Boston Opera; Minneapolis Symphony; Concert Opera Orchestra of Boston; and Bergen Symphony, Norway.
He earned a Juris doctor degree from the University of Washington, and served on the Seattle Arts commission as well as the boards of Cornish, Pratt, Downtown Seattle Association / Metropolitan Improvement, Jewish Family Service and Seattle Opera.