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.
On the opera stage David has been featured in several recent productions with the Boston Lyric Opera. His performances as the Officer in last season’s BLO production of Philip Glass’ gripping two-character drama In the Penal Colony were widely admired — the Wall Street Journal hailed his portrayal as “disturbingly eloquent.” Other roles with BLO have included King Mark in Martin’s The Love Potion, Cascada in Lehar’s The Merry Widow, Johann in Massenet’s Werther, and Jason McFarlane in Beeson’s Lizzie Borden, performed both in Boston and at the Tanglewood Music Festival. David has also sung with Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Opera Boston, Sarasota Opera, and the Rossini Festival in Wildbad, Germany. His roles include Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, Taddeo in L’Italiana in Algeri and the title role in Britten’s Noye’s Fludde. This season he makes his debut with Boston Baroque as Achilla in Handel’s Giulio Cesare.
David’s solo concert engagements have ranged from Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 at St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice to the music of Cole Porter with the Boston Pops. Upcoming highlights include Bach and Monteverdi with the Handel and Haydn Society, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs, and a concert performance of Stephen Paulus’ one-act opera Three Hermits. Last season David was a featured Adams Fellow at the Carmel Bach Festival in California; debuted with the Vermont Symphony and Boston’s groundbreaking chamber orchestra, A Far Cry; returned to the Artist Series of Sarasota in a set of pops performances; and appeared with the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston, Canada, and California. He was also runner-up in the Oratorio Society of New York’s 2016 Lyndon Woodside Solo Competition, the premier contest for this repertoire. Past concert credits include a Carnegie Hall debut with Gustavo Dudamel and the Israel Philharmonic, as well as performances with the Cleveland Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Seraphic Fire in Miami, New York’s TENET, and at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico. David’s concert repertoire includes Bach’s St. John Passion, B Minor Mass and Christmas Oratorio; Handel’s Messiah, Joshua, and Samson; Haydn’s Creation and Mass in Time of War; Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem; and the requiems of Brahms, Fauré and Duruflé. He is also a regular soloist and baritone section leader for the choirs of Trinity Church Boston, and performs around the country with the renaissance ensemble Blue Heron.
An avid recitalist, David has performed at the Caramoor Festival, the Steans Institute at the Ravinia Festival, and as a Stern Fellow at SongFest in California. He has appeared with Five Boroughs Music Festival and the New York Festival of Song, and completed four summer chamber music residencies at the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont. This fall he is curating and performing a program of songs from World War I with soprano Deborah Selig and pianist Clifton J. Noble, Jr., to be presented on Veterans Day in Northampton, Massachusetts.
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 2nd place 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 lives in the Boston neighborhood of Roslindale with his wife Erin, a preservationist with the Massachusetts Historical Commission, and their black lab Holly.