Obituary: Tenor Melvyn Poll and Bass-Baritone Edward Tsanga Pass Away

By Francisco Salazar

This week two singers from the world’s leading opera houses have died.

Melvyn Poll

After complications following cancer treatment, tenor Melvyn Poll died at 75. The opera singer who was also a lawyer, opera advocate, teacher and football booster performed in Europe, Israel, New York and Seattle. He was a frequent guest at the New York City Opera, where he made his debut in 1974 and was also a frequent soloist at the Seattle Opera where he made his debut in 1977 in Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly.” He also performed the National Anthem at the University of Washington where he thrilled audiences with his high notes.

Poll also served as regional chair for the Metropolitan National Council Auditions and assisted promising young singers with coaching, advice and instruction. He is survive by his wife, Rosalind Benaroya Poll, two children and three grandchildren.

Edward Tsanga

After being hospitalized and being discharged on Friday, bass-baritone Tsanga passed away at 38.

Tsanga was a frequent performer at the Mariinsky Theatre and was invited to join the company in 2008. Tsanga was an honored Artist of the Republic of Komi and was a prize-winner at the International Elena Obraztsova Competition (2003; 2nd prize), the International Pavel Lisitsian Competition (2003; 1st prize), the IV International Rimsky-Korsakov Young Opera Singers’ Competition (St Petersburg, 2000; special prize), the International Boris Christoff Competition (Bulgaria, 2000; special audience prize) and the International Plácido Domingo Operalia Competition (2003).

With the Mariinsky he toured to London, Paris and across Germany. He sang Leandro in the Teatro Real’s new production of Prokofiev’s “Love for Three Oranges” in Madrid and was also engaged at Aix-en-Provence and Luxembourg.