DAVID PERSHALL – baritone
David Pershall made his international debut as Schaunard in a new 2012 production of La Boheme with the Norwegian National Opera in Oslo. He also made his Carnegie Hall debut as The Officer in Schmidt’s Notre Dame with the American Symphony Orchestra under Leon Botstein. He began his 2012-13 season as Zurga in Les Pecheurs de Perles with Virginia Opera before going to the Dallas Opera for a series of concerts. He also joined the Metropolitan Opera covering Cecil in Maria Stuarda and debuted with Opera Orchestra of New York in Avery Fisher Hall as Rocher in Andrea Chenier. Additionally last season he sang Barbiere with El Paso Opera. In 2013-14 he returns to Virginia as Papageno in Die Zauberfloete and debuts with Sarasota Opera as Di Luna in Il Trovatore and Vero Beach Opera as Alfio in Cavalleria Rusticana. He also returns to Poland to sing and record the role of Oreste in Iphigenie en Tauride at the Beethoven Easter Festival and to Opera Orchestra of New York as the Duke of Nottingham in Roberto Devereux opposite Mariella Devia. The 2014-15 season he debuts with Washington Opera as The Pilot in The Little Prince and with Minnesota Opera as Belcore in L’Elisir d’Amore and joins the roster of the Vienna Staatsoper.
In 2011, Pershall performed and recorded Don Pedro in Donizetti’s Maria Padilla with the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra and acclaimed Soprano Nelly Miricioiu as part of the annual Beethoven Easter Festival in Warsaw. He also performed Robert Baker in Bernstein’s Wonderful Town with the Giuseppe Verdi Orchestra di Milano, and Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor and Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with the Opera Theater of Connecticut, Vaughn Williams’ Sea Symphony with the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, Carmina Burana with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and a return to the Beethoven Easter Festival to record and perform Manfredo in L’amore dei tre re with the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Pershall has won many prestigious vocal competitions including 1st Prize in the Gerda Lissner Foundation International Vocal Competition, the Haynes Schuyler Memorial Award in the Opera Index Competition, 1st Prize in the Connecticut Opera Guild Competition, and 1st Prize in the Hugo Kauder Competition for Voice, the Presser Music Foundation Award, and the Thomas Stewart Award for Vocal Excellence. His other awards include prizes in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the George London Foundation, the Giulio Gari Foundation, the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, and the David L. Kasdon Memorial Prize for the Outstanding Singer in the Yale School of Music, and an Artist Grant Award from the National Bel Canto Vocal Competition. He is a graduate of the Yale Opera Program where he performed the title role of Don Giovanni, Escamillo in La Tragédie de Carmen, Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, Grigory Smirnov in The Bear, and Papageno in Die Zauberflöte. In addition to his operatic performances he has presented recitals of Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder and Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, Brahms’ Die Schöne Magelone, and was the Baritone Sololist in the east coast premier of Aaron Jay Kernis’ Symphony of Meditations.
Mr. Pershall has appeared in two Swiss TV broadcast concerts with tenor Francisco Araiza entitled “Classic Night” in Zurich. He was a guest of Lady Walton’s at La Mortella in Ischia, Italy, where he revived his interpretation of Grigory Smirnov in The Bear. He was a participant in San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program and part of Virginia Opera’s Spectrum Resident Artist Program.
Throughout his studies David has appeared in Master Classes with artists such as Hartmut Höll, Thomas Hampson, Alan Held, Francesca Zambello, Christopher Alden, Carol Vaness, Evelyn Lear, Vinson Cole, Martin Katz, and Jane Eaglen.