Hailed by the The New York Times as “passionate and resonant” and by Der Neue Merker for his “cultured singing,” American baritone David Pershall has established himself as an exciting and vibrant artist to watch. In the 2021-2022 season, Mr. Pershall will debut as Gunther in Götterdämmerung with Theater Chemnitz, and join the roster of the Metropolitan Opera in their production of Don Carlos.
Cancelations due to the Covid-19 pandemic included a cover of the title role in Don Giovanni with the Metropolitan Opera, a tour of Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with the Yale Philharmonia and London Bach Choir with stops in New York City, Washington, D.C., Boston, Baltimore, and New Haven, and Szymanowski’s Stabat Mater with the National Symphony Orchestra in both Washington, D.C., and Edinburgh, Scotland, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda.
In the 2020-2021 season, Mr. Pershall made house debuts at San Diego Opera as Figaro Il barbiere di Siviglia and at Teatre Principal in Mallorca, Spain, as Papageno in The Magic Flute. In the previous season, he performed Figaro at Vero Beach Opera and sang Silvio in I Pagliacci at Greensboro Opera, while in concert, he gave solo recitals at Stanford University with pianist John Churchwell and at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.Read more
In the 2018-2019 season, Mr. Pershall returned to San Francisco Opera, where he was praised for his “deft performance” as Silvio in I Pagliacci. He also sang Marcello in La bohème at Finger Lakes Opera, made his role debut as Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus at Des Moines Metro Opera, and returned to the Metropolitan Opera for a production of Carmen. In concert, he performed selections from Beethoven’s Scottish Songs alongside the Mark Morris Dance Group at the La Jolla Summer Festival, gave a Schwabacher Series Recital with John Churchwell at San Francisco Opera, and appeared in a Rising Stars Concert alongside acclaimed tenor Marcello Giordani at Vero Beach Opera.
Past operatic highlights include his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2015 as Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, as well as subsequent performances there as Schaunard in La bohème and Lord Cecil in Maria Stuarda. Mr. Pershall also debuted at San Francisco Opera in 2016 as Roucher in Giordano’s Andrea Chénier and returned the following season as Lescaut in Massenet’s Manon. In addition, he has sung Papageno in The Magic Flute at Washington National Opera, Figaro at Florida Grand Opera, Belcore in L’Elisir d’Amore at Minnesota Opera, Zurga in Les pêcheurs de perles at Virginia Opera, Conte di Luna in Il Trovatore at Sarasota Opera, and Conte Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro at Boston Lyric Opera.
Mr. Pershall joined the prestigious Vienna State Opera in 2014 as a Fest Artist, where he performed major roles such as Figaro, Lescaut, Belcore, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, and Sebastian in The Tempest. Elsewhere in Europe, he debuted at the Salzburger Landestheater, where his performance as Marcello in La bohème was acclaimed as “show stealing” and “magnificent,” and sang Schaunard at Norwegian National Opera and Rodrigo in Don Carlos at Opera Burg Gars in Austria. He also collaborated with the Beethoven Easter Festival and Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, producing three live performance albums in which he headlined as Don Pedro in Donizetti’s Maria Padilla, Manfredo in Montemezzi’s L’amore dei tre re, and Orestes in Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride.
Europe is quickly embracing this exciting artist. In Mr. Pershall’s debut at the Salzburger Landestheater, his performance as Marcello was acclaimed as “show stealing” and “magnificent.” Additional performances include Schaunard with Norwegian National Opera and Rodrigo in Don Carlos with Opera Burg Gars in Austria. Mr. Pershall has also collaborated with the Beethoven Easter Festival and Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, producing three live performance albums in which he headlined as Don Pedro in Maria Padilla, Manfredo in L’Amore dei Tre Re, and Orestes in Iphigénie en Tauride.
Other notable performances include Papageno in The Magic Flute at Washington National Opera, Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia at Florida Grand Opera, Belcore in L’Elisir d’Amore at Minnesota Opera, Zurga in Les pêcheurs de perles at Virginia Opera, Conte di Luna in Il Trovatore with Sarasota Opera, and Conte Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro at Boston Lyric Opera.
Mr. Pershall is an avid concert performer, and has sung lieder works by Beethoven, Mahler, Strauss, Tchaikovsky, and Finzi. He made his Carnegie Hall debut as Lord Nottingham in Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux, led by Maestra Eve Queler, to great acclaim from critics and audiences alike. Additionally, he sang Krzysztok Penderecki’s St. Luke Passion with the Beethoven Easter Festival, in a performance conducted by the composer and presented as part of the twentieth edition of the festival, as well as Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony with the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Pershall has won First Prize in several international competitions, including the George London Award, the Gerda Lissner Competition, the Marcello Giordani Foundation, the Fritz and Lavinia Jensen Foundation Competition, the New Jersey Verismo Competition, the Connecticut Opera Guild Competition, the Hugo Kauder Competition for Voice, the Presser Music Foundation Award, and the Thomas Stewart Award for Vocal Excellence. He is also the recipient of several awards from other prestigious competitions such as the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the Giulio Gari Foundation, the Opera Index Competition, the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, and the National Bel Canto Vocal Competition.
David Pershall received his training at San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program and Virginia Opera Resident Artist Program. He holds a Bachelor of Music from Baylor University, as well as a Master of Music and an Artist Diploma from the Yale School of Music. He has appeared on television in performances as Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor and Germont in La Traviata, both of which were broadcast live on PBS.
IMG Artists is thrilled to welcome the “magnificent…show-stealing” (Oberbayerisches Volksblatt) baritone David Pershall to its roster for General Management, North America. He will be represented by Vice President and Artist Manager Sam Snook from the company’s New...
“As the titular Barber, David Pershall’s bouyant baritone was assured in ‘Largo al Factotum’ with smooth legato in cover passages. Wearing a drum major’s costume that suggested Sgr Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Pershall was never caught mugging or ‘acting’; he simply embodied the mank Figaro.”
“David Pershall brought movie-star charisma and lots of personality to Figaro.”
“Debonair baritone David Pershall brought to the arrogant, self-assured toreador Escamillo precisely the vocal and histrionic panache that the role requires.”