David McFerrin

Praised by The Miami Herald for his “commanding stage presence and a voice of seductive beauty,” baritone David McFerrin has won critical acclaim in a wide variety of repertoire.

David is a mainstay of the Boston opera scene, and has sung on many other leading stages in the US and Europe. A former Emerging Artist with Boston Lyric Opera, he has performed numerous roles with the company, including King Mark in Martin’s The Love Potion, Pallante in Handel’s Agrippina, and the Officer in Glass’ gripping two-character drama In the Penal Colony— a portrayal the Wall Street Journalhailed as “disturbingly eloquent.” Last season he created the role of Dr. Ferguson in BLO’s world premiere of Julian Grant’s The Nefarious, Immoral but Highly Profitable Enterprise of Mr. Burke & Mr. Hare, and he will soon rejoin the company as Junius in Britten’s Rape of Lucretia. Additional roles this season include Aeneas in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society, and debuts with Boston Early Music Festival as Neptune in Caccini’s Alcina and Odyssey Opera as Agamemnon in Offenbach’s La Belle Hélène.  Past opera credits include Florida Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera, and the Rossini Festival in Wildbad, Germany, in roles such as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, Taddeo in L’Italiana in Algeriand the title role in Britten’s Noye’s Fludde.

David’s solo concert engagements have ranged from Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610at St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice to Bernstein’s Broadway hits with the Boston Pops. He debuted in Carnegie Hall with Gustavo Dudamel and the Israel Philharmonic, and has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, and San Antonio Symphony. Mr. McFerrin has received particular acclaim for his performances of baroque repertoire with ensembles including Handel and Haydn Society, the Bay Area’s American Bach Soloists, Cleveland’s Apollo’s Fire, New York’s TENET, Miami’s Seraphic Fire, and Arion Baroque Orchestra in Montreal. He has also appeared at the Tanglewood Festival, Carmel Bach Festival, and Casals Festival in Puerto Rico. In 2016 he was runner-up in the Oratorio Society of New York’s 2016 Lyndon Woodside Solo Competition, the premier contest for this repertoire.This season’s solo concert highlights include Handel’s Messiah with Apollo’s Fire, Bach’s Easter Oratorio with Emmanuel Music, and Holiday Pops with the Boston Pops. Other repertoire includes Bach’s St. John Passion, B Minor Mass and Christmas Oratorio; Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis; Handel’s Joshua and Samson; Haydn’s Creation, Lord Nelson Mass and Mass in Time of War; Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem and Five Mystical Songsand the requiems of Brahms, Fauré and Duruflé.

An avid recitalist and chamber musician, David has performed at the Caramoor Festival, the Steans Institute at the Ravinia Festival, New York Festival of Song, Five Boroughs Music Festival, and completed four summer residencies at the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont. Recently David co-curated and performed a program of songs from World War I, presented during this centenary period in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Washington DC. He is an artist member of Music for Food, a volunteer, musician-led chamber music initiative started in Boston to fight hunger in the community. He is also a member of the renaissance vocal ensemble Blue Heron, whose recent recording of 16th-century English polyphony won the 2018 Gramophone award for Best Early Music Album.

David’s childhood in western Massachusetts was full of music: his choral director mother took him to her rehearsals in a bassinet. He started violin lessons at age five, soon joined a children’s choir, and spent his teen-age years fitting orchestra, musical theatre and a capella group rehearsals around ultimate frisbee practices and outing club treks. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Carleton College in music and political economy, he earned graduate degrees at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and the Juilliard School. In 2008 he won 2ndplace in the Metropolitan Opera National Council New England Region, and was awarded a Richard F. Gold Career Grant from the Shoshana Foundation, annually given to promising young American singers. He now lives in the Boston neighborhood of Roslindale with his wife Erin (a preservation planner with the Massachusetts Historical Commission,) their newborn daughter Fiona, and black lab Holly.

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Current & Upcoming Performances

11
March
2019
Britten's The Rape of Lucretia
Junius
Boston Lyric Opera
Boston
Artists for Humanity EpiCenter
13
March
2019
Britten's The Rape of Lucretia
Junius
Boston Lyric Opera
Boston
Artists for Humanity EpiCenter
15
March
2019
Britten's The Rape of Lucretia
Junius
Boston Lyric Opera
Boston
Artists for Humanity EpiCenter
16
March
2019
Britten's The Rape of Lucretia
Junius
Boston Lyric Opera
Boston
Artists for Humanity EpiCenter
17
March
2019
Britten's The Rape of Lucretia
Junius
Boston Lyric Opera
Boston
Artists for Humanity EpiCenter
22
March
2019
Purcell & Friends: The Tempest
Neptune
Henry Purcell Society of Boston Ensemble
Boston
St. Paul's Cathedral
24
March
2019
Purcell & Friends: The Tempest
Neptune
Henry Purcell Society of Boston Ensemble
Boston
St. Paul's Cathedral
29
March
2019
Dido and Aeneas
Aeneas
The Handel and Haydn Society
Boston
NEC's Jordan Hall
31
March
2019
Dido and Aeneas
Aeneas
The Handel and Haydn Society
Boston
NEC's Jordan Hall
13
April
2019
Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass
Soloist
Smith College and University of Virginia
Northampton, MA
27
April
2019
Bach's Easter Oratorio
Soloist
Emmanuel Music
Boston
Emmanuel Church
14
June
2019
Offenbach's La belle Hélène
Agamemnon
Odyssey Opera
Boston
Huntington Avenue Theatre
16
June
2019
Offenbach's La belle Hélène
Agamemnon
Odyssey Opera
Boston
Huntington Avenue Theatre

Past Performances

Past Performance Schedule Coming Soon

Grant’s Burke and Hare – Boston Lyric Opera

“The two surgeons (the younger Dr. Ferguson, played by baritone David McFerrin and the elder Dr. Robert Knox, played by the luminous William Burden) played their roles, musically and dramatically, with a wonderful balance between theatrical exaggeration and ready-for-my-close-up intensity.” – Boston Musical Intelligencer review of Boston Lyric Opera’s “Burke and Hare,” November 11, 2017

Handel’s Giulio Cesare – Boston Baroque 

“David McFerrin, as Ptolemy’s right-hand man Achillas, displayed a baritone of deft and appealing posture.” – Boston Globe review of Boston Baroque’s Julius Caesar, April 23, 2017

Glass’ In the Penal Colony – Boston Lyric Opera

“Ferreira and McFerrin both turned in excellent performances . . McFerrin’s ample baritone was darkly authoritative and impassioned. Both voices easily filled the space, and both singers brought impressive physicality to the performance.”
-Opera News review of Boston Lyric Opera’s In the Penal Colony, February 2016

“The disturbingly eloquent baritone David McFerrin”
-Wall Street Journal review of McFerrin’s portrayal of the Officer in Boston Lyric Opera’s In the Penal Colony,
November 18, 2015

“The outstanding pair of Neal Ferreira (Visitor) and David McFerrin (Officer) carried the show . . David McFerrin drilled through the Officer’s cinderblock vocal lines with unflinching conviction. The character was at first entirely emotionless and official, standing ramrod straight, but the Officer’s stunted, sadomasochistic psyche gradually exposed itself as McFerrin removed the layers of his space suit . . his voice took on notes of frightening desperation without losing an ounce of strength.”
– Boston Musical Intelligencer review of Boston Lyric Opera’s In the Penal Colony, November 13, 2015

“Ferreira and McFerrin are excellent . . the singers project such impeccable diction”
– WBUR Artery review of Boston Lyric Opera’s In the Penal Colony, November 12, 2015

McMillan’s Clemency – Boston Lyric Opera

“Neil Ferreira, Samuel Levine and David McFerrin, as the travelers, are somehow larger than life as a trio, and they manage MacMillan’s difficult part-writing with ease”
-Opera News review of the recording of Boston Lyric Opera’s Clemency, February 2015