Alan Crofoot

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Alan Crofoot
Born (1929-06-02)June 2, 1929
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Died March 5, 1979(1979-03-05) (aged 49)
Dayton, Ohio, U.S.
Cause of death Suicide
Nationality Canadian
Alma mater University of Toronto
Occupation Opera singer, actor
Years active 1956–1979
Spouse(s) Dodi Protero (m.?–1972)

Alan Crofoot (June 2, 1929 – March 5, 1979) was a Canadian operatic Heldentenor, character tenor specialist, and actor. He is best remembered as the host of Mr. Piper, a 1960s children's television series that aired on the CBC in Canada.


Crofoot was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He attended the University of Toronto where he earned a Master's degree in psychology.[1] His operatic career began at the Canadian Opera, as Spoletta in Tosca, in 1956. Crofoot also appeared in stage productions of musicals such as Man of La Mancha, in London's West End, and Oliver! on Broadway and Winnipeg's Rainbow Stage.

From 1963 to 1964, Crofoot hosted the CBC children's program Mr. Piper, which also became well known in the United Kingdom. Crofoot hosted the show dressed as a Pied Piper, with a flower in his hat.

He created the role of Josiah Creach in the world premiere of Carlisle Floyd's Markheim, with Norman Treigle and Audrey Schuh, in New Orleans (1966), as well as appearances at the New York City Opera (Herod in Salome, opposite Maralin Niska, in 1975) and the Metropolitan Opera (The Bartered Bride, directed by John Dexter, in 1978). Also in his repertoire was the Jailer/Inquisitor in Il prigioniero.

In 1974, Mr Crofoot appeared in the world premiere of Hans Werner Henze's Rachel, la cubana, for WNET Opera Theatre, opposite Lee Venora, Susanne Marsee and Alan Titus, conducted by the composer.

Personal life[edit]

Crofoot was previously married to fellow opera singer Dodi Protero. They divorced around 1972.[1] At the time of his death, Crofoot was engaged to Jean Godden.[2]


In the early morning hours of March 5, 1979, Crofoot jumped from his fifth floor hotel room window in Dayton, Ohio. He died of his injuries at Miami Valley Hospital shortly thereafter. At the time of his death, Crofoot was set to direct the production of Salome by the Dayton Opera Company.[2]

Crofoot's manager, James Sardos, later said that Crofoot was generally happy but had been experiencing "fits of depression" caused by blood pressure medication he had been taking. On the night before his death, Crofoot had been drinking beer which Sardos believed reacted adversely with medication leading to Crofoot's death.[1]


  • Offenbach: Orphée aux enfers (Faris, 1960) EMI
  • Floyd: Markheim (Schuh, Treigle; Andersson, 1966) VAI [live]
  • Strauss: Elektra (Borkh, Schuh, Resnik, Rayson; Andersson, 1966) VAI [live]


  • Smetana: The Bartered Bride (Stratas, Gedda, Vickers, Talvela; Levine, Dexter, 1978) [live]


  1. ^ a b c "Alcohol, medication may have led to tenor's suicide". The Calgary Herald. March 7, 1979. p. B18. Retrieved February 6, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Opera singer leaps to death". The Milwaukee Sentinel. March 6, 1979. p. 3. Retrieved February 6, 2013. 


  • Who's Who in Opera, edited by Maria F. Rich, Arno Press, 1976.

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