David Pershall
New England Third Place Winner, 2011

After appearing as Rodrigo in Don Carlo in Germany with Opera Burg Gars last summer, baritone David Pershall returned to the Vienna Staatsoper this fall as Belcore in L’elisir d’amore and Sebastian in The Tempest; next spring he appears with the company as Puccini’s Lescaut. Also in the 2015-2016 season, the  baritone joins Florida Grand Opera as Figaro in Il barber di Siviglia, and then makes his Metropolitan Opera debut in that role; David returns to the Met later in the season as Schaunard in La bohème and as Lord Cecil in Maria Stuarda. Last season in Vienna David sang Belcore, Rossini’s Figaro, Sebastian, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, Roucher in Andrea Chenier, Baron Duphol in La traviata, and the First Nazarene in Salome. He also encored his Belcore for Minnesota Opera.


Born in Oklahoma City and reared in Temple, Texas, David is a graduate of Baylor University and the Yale Opera Program, where he performed the title role in Don Giovanni, Escamillo in La tragédie de Carmen, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Grigory Smirnov in Walton’s The Bear, and Papageno in Die Zauberflöte. In 2008 David was a participant in San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program, and that year also covered and performed Enrico in Lucia for Virginia Opera as a part of their Spectrum Resident Artist program. He later returned to Virginia as Zurga in Les pêcheurs de perles, appeared as Rossini’s Figaro with El Paso Opera, and visited the Norwegian National Opera as Schaunard. Later roles included Papageno at Virginia Opera and Washington National Opera, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor with Amarillo Opera and Opera Theater of Connecticut, Alfio in Cavalleria Rusticana at Vero Beach Opera, Count Di Luna in Il trovatore with Sarasota Opera, and the Duke of Nottingham in Roberto Devereux with the Opera Orchestra of New York at Carnegie Hall.


In 2013 David was the First Prize winner of the 2013 Marcello Giordani Foundation International Vocal Competition in Vero Beach, Florida and the New Jersey Verismo Opera Competition, and won First Prize in the 2012 Fritz and Lavinia Jensen Foundation Competition. 2011 brought First Prizes in the Gerda Lissner Foundation Competition and the Hugo Kauder Voice Competition, the Haynes Schuyler Award in the Opera Index Competition, and Third Prize in the Giulio Gari Foundation Competition. Earlier David also received a 2010 Encouragement Award from the George London Foundation, First Prize in the 2010 Connecticut Opera Guild Competition, the David L. Kasdon Memorial Prize and the Presser Music Foundation Award at Yale, and Baylor’s Thomas Stewart Award for Vocal Excellence.

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