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 musical genres.

David is a mainstay of the Boston opera scene and has performed on many other leading stages in the US and Europe. A former Emerging Artist with Boston Lyric Opera, he has sung numerous roles with the company, including Pallante in Handel’s Agrippina, Junius in Britten’s Rape of Lucretia, and The Officer in Glass’ two-character drama In the Penal Colony — a portrayal the Wall Street Journal hailed as “disturbingly eloquent.” In the 2019-20 season, Mr. McFerrin appeared as Joseph McCarthy in BLO’s East Coast premiere of Spears’ Fellow Travelers. Other recent performances include Aeneas in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with Handel and Haydn Society, Neptune in Caccini’s Alcina with Boston Early Music Festival, and Agamemnon in Offenbach’s La Belle Hélène with Odyssey Opera. David’s other opera credits include Florida Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera, Boston Baroque, and the Rossini Festival in Wildbad, Germany, in roles such as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, Taddeo in L’Italiana in Algeri, and the title role in Britten’s Noye’s Fludde.

David’s concert engagements have ranged from Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 at St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice to various performances with the Boston Pops. He made his solo debut in Carnegie Hall with Gustavo Dudamel and the Israel Philharmonic, and has sung with the Cleveland Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, and San Antonio Symphony. David has received notable acclaim for 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. His concert repertoire includes Bach’s St. John Passion, B Minor Mass, and Christmas Oratorio; Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis; Handel’s Messiah, Joshua, and Samson; Haydn’s Creation, Lord Nelson Mass, and Mass in Time of War; Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem and Five Mystical Songs; and 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, SongFest, and completed four summer residencies at the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont. 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 also performs regularly with the renaissance vocal ensemble Blue Heron, whose recording of 16th-century English polyphony won the 2018 Gramophone award for Best Early Music Album.

Like all musicians over the past 16 months, David had many engagements cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including performances of Achilla in Giulio Cesare and Peter in Hansel and Gretel with Boston Lyric Opera. During this period, he was able to record virtual performances with a number of Boston-area ensembles, including Blue Heron, the Boston Pops, Handel & Haydn Society, and the role of Lucifero in Emmanuel Music’s production of Handel’s La Resurrezione.

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, joined a children’s choir, and spent his teenage 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. His awards include 2nd place in the Metropolitan Opera National Council New England Region, runner-up in the Oratorio Society of New York’s Lyndon Woodside Competition (the premier solo concert competition in the US), and a Richard F. Gold Career Grant from the Shoshana Foundation, given annually to promising young American singers. He recently moved from Boston to Natick, Massachusetts with his wife Erin (an architectural historian and preservation planner), their two-year-old daughter Fiona, and black lab Holly.

 

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