David W. Scott, whose operatic voice and directing vision lifted the California State University, Northridge opera program to international acclaim, passed away on Saturday, Aug. 4, after suffering injuries in a car accident. He was 82 years old.
Elizabeth Sellers, chair of the Department of Music, remembered Scott fondly. “He was always kind and sincerely interested in what I was doing,” she said. “I respected all he accomplished, including his ability to work into his 70s and 80s. He truly touched the lives of so many.”
Scott’s stellar reputation followed him to CSUN from Indiana University, where after receiving his master’s and doctoral degrees in music, he performed 15 baritone roles in opera and studied voice with legendary teachers Frank St. Leger, Anna Kaskas and Paul Matthen.
An award-winning singer and director, Scott led the CSUN Opera Theater for 30 years. During that time, he staged more than 125 major opera productions that garnered acclaim throughout the region. Under his direction, the Opera Theater performed in front of the national convention of the National Opera Association and also participated in an operatic exchange program with the Shanghai and Beijing Opera theatres.
As a professor, Scott helped many students achieve their dreams of singing professionally. Many students of Scott’s went on to professional singing careers, including renowned soprano Carol Vaness. On multiple occasions his students advanced from regional Metropolitan Opera auditions, and five won the prestigious Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
Other students have sung with numerous regional, national and international opera companies, including the Paris Opera, Royal Opera at Covent Garden and La Scala.
A memorial service for Scott was held on Aug. 11 at the Northridge United Methodist Church.
The Scott Family asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the CSUN Foundation and mailed to: Music Department, MCCAMC, CSUN, 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330-8314 (please include the last four digits, as they denote the mail drop). Please write “DAVID SCOTT MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP FUND” in the memo portion of the check to ensure proper crediting of the funds.
Donations may also be made online at www.csun.edu.
Click on “Give” on the far right side of the red navigation bar, and then click on “Give Online!” Where it says, “Direct my gift to,” please click on the down arrow and highlight the “Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication.” Then, under “Special Instructions,” please type “Music Scholarship in Memory of David Scott.”