American bass-baritone David Pittsinger is renowned as a stage performer of the greatest distinction for his dramatic portrayals in the world’s major opera houses. Of his Helen Hayes Award-nominated performance as Emile de Becque in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific at the Kennedy Center, the Washington Times wrote: “His brilliant, knife-clean bass-baritone voice, impeccable enunciation—even with a French accent—and his authoritative, passionate delivery provide the perfect mix of romance, passion, and traditional masculine bravado. And his vocal delivery of ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ as well as the sorrowing ‘This Nearly Was Mine’ registers extraordinarily high on the three-hanky scale. His Emile is perhaps the definitive interpretation of this role in our time.”

In the current and recent seasons, David Pittsinger will return to the Metropolitan Opera to cover The Captain in Florencia en el Amazonas conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Mr. Pittsinger performed Tiresirus in Oedipus Rex with the Houston Symphony conducted by Juraj Valcuha. He debuted with Maryland Lyric Opera as Lodovico in Otello. Mr. Pittsinger debuted with Opera Omaha in Yergeny Onegin in the role of Prince Gremin. He also returned to Opera Theatre of St. Louis as Seneca in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea. He made his role debut as Captain Von Trapp in the Sound of Music at the Ivorytown Playhouse.

In recent seasons, Mr. Pittsinger performed the Speaker in The Magic Flute at Dallas Opera. He made his debut at Houston Grand Opera as El Capitán in Francesca Zambello’s production of Florencia en el Amazonas. Operatic highlights of recent seasons include appearances at the Metropolitan Opera as Palémon in Thaïs, Le Bret in Cyrano de Bergerac, Luther and Crespel in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, and the Marquis de la Force in Dialogues des Carmélites. Additionally, He appeared as Robert E. Lee and Edgar Ray Killen in a new production of Philip Glass’ Appomattox at Washington National Opera, and as Father Trulove in The Rake’s Progress with the Dutch National Opera and at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence. He returned to Portland Opera as Jochanaan in Salome; appeared in Florencia en el Amazonas at LA Opera and Washington National Opera, where he also sang the Speaker in a new production of The Magic Flute; sang he title role of Man of La Mancha at Utah Opera and the Ivoryton Playhouse; reprised his celebrated assumption of Fred Graham in Kiss Me, Kate, directed by Lee Blakely at the Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg; gave summer performances at the Glimmerglass Festival as King Arthur in Camelot; and reprised his Helen Hayes Award-nominated performance as Emile de Becque in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific at the Riverside Theater in Vero Beach. His performance as Roy Disney in the world premiere of Philip Glass’ The Perfect American at the Teatro Real directed by Phelim McDermott was released on DVD by Opus Arte.

Mr. Pittsinger’s orchestral engagements have included a concert staging of Peter Grimes with David Robertson and the St. Louis Symphony, both in Saint Louis and at Carnegie Hall; Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra led by Juanjo Mena, Handel’s Messiah with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra; a concert of American songs with the Riverside Theatre in Vero Beach, Florida; Rachmaninoff’s The Bells with the Houston Symphony; Stravinsky’s Pulcinella and Haydn’s Missa in tempore belli with Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos and the Boston Symphony Orchestra; and the world premiere of Scott Eyerly’s Arlington Sons—composed for Mr. Pittsinger and his son Richard, then a boy soprano—with Leonard Slatkin and the Pittsburgh Symphony, which was released on CD.

David Pittsinger’s wide-ranging repertoire includes a special affinity for the virtuosic music of the baroque. He has been lauded for his performances of Zoroastro in Handel’s Orlando (Glimmerglass Opera under Bernard Labadie and at New York City Opera); as Cadmus and Somnus in David McVicar’s production of Semele at the Theatre des Champs-Elysées in Paris and opposite Cecilia Bartoli in Robert Carson’s production of Semele at Theater an der Wien under the baton of William Christie; as Atamante in Piero Cesti’s L’Argia at the Champs-Elysées and Lausanne conducted by René Jacobs; as Harapha in Samson with the Philharmonia Baroque under Nicholas McGegan; as Seneca in Robert Carson’s production of L’incoronazione di Poppea at Theater an der Wien; and as Melisso in Alcina at San Francisco Opera.

His elegant musicianship also puts him in high demand for challenging twentieth and twenty-first century scores, including the title role of Massenet’s Don Quichotte at the Klangbogen Festival in Vienna and the Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires; his Nick Shadow has been seen in Paris (Champs-Elysées), Hamburg (a new production by Jürgen Flimm conducted by Ingo Metzmacher), Bordeaux, Lausanne, Cologne, Brussels and at the Wiener Festspiele; his Creon in Oedipus Rex has been seen at the Teatro San Carlo di Napoli and on tour in Athens. He has also sung the Count in Schreker’s Der Ferne Klang at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie; Rev. Olin Blitch in Floyd’s Susannah at the Opera Company of Philadelphia and in Vancouver, and the Nemeses in Britten’s Death in Venice at Glimmerglass Opera. Also at Glimmerglass Opera, Mr. Pittsinger and his wife, soprano Patricia Schuman, sang the world premiere of A Blizzard at Marblehead Neck, an opera by Jeanine Tesori and Tony Kushner based on the marriage of Eugene O’Neill and Carlotta Monterey.

He has performed Don Giovanni at the Opera Company of Philadelphia, New York City Opera, and Florida Grand Opera; Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte at the Opera Company of Philadelphia; Rodolfo in La Sonnambula at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo and a staged production of the Verdi Requiem at English National Opera. Other roles include Selim in Il Turco in Italia (Paris, Brussels and the Teatro Colon), the Four Villains in Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Opera Company of Philadelphia), Comte des Grieux in Manon, the Speaker in The Magic Flute (San Francisco Opera and the Metropolitan Opera), Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro (Portland Opera and Florida Grand Opera), Angelotti and Scarpia in Tosca (Metropolitan Opera and Florida Grand Opera, respectively), Cappellio in I Capuleti ed i Montecchi (Pittsburgh Opera), Colline in La bohème (Metropolitan Opera), Publio in La Clemenza di Tito, Méphistophélès in Gounod’s Faust at Seattle Opera, l’Opéra de Montréal, and the Opera Theatre of St. Louis. Mr. Pittsinger’s dual portrayals of Méphistophélès earned him the “Artist of the Year” from the Pittsburgh public for both the Gounod and Boito operas.

Mr. Pittsinger’s Helen Hayes Award-nominated performance as Emile de Becque in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific has been seen at the Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center Theater, and on national tour with performances in Toronto, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Providence, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Spokane, and Costa Mesa, among other cities.

Orchestral engagements have included the Verdi Requiem with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony under Leonard Slatkin with the National Symphony Orchestra (including performances at Carnegie Hall) and the Dallas Symphony under the baton of Jiří Bělohlávek; Missa Solemnis with the Houston Symphony under Hans Graf and with I Solisti Veneti; Messiah with the Houston Symphony under Nicholas McGegan, the Baltimore Symphony, and the National Symphony Orchestra; the Vienna Philharmonic in performances of Frank Martin’s Golgotha; Maria Stuarda conducted by Richard Bonynge and L’Enfance du Christ with John Nelson, both with the National Orchestra Radio France; Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Amsterdamse Bach Solisten, Gounod’s Mors et Vita under the baton of Michael Plasson, and the role of Alfonso in Lucrezia Borgia with VARA Radio at the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam (also recorded for Naxos). He has performed at major American summer festivals including Grant Park (Verdi’s Requiem) and Tanglewood (Stravinsky’s Pulcinella conducted by Robert Spano) and has sung Haydn’s Creation, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Cantata 82 (“Ich habe genug”) and Brahms’ Liebeslieder Walzer at the Bellingham Festival.

Born in Connecticut, David Pittsinger holds a Master’s degree in vocal performance from the Yale School of Music and was a recipient of the “Outstanding Alumnus Award” at his undergraduate alma mater, the University of Connecticut. Upon graduation, he became a member of the Merola Program at the San Francisco Opera. Mr. Pittsinger can be heard on the Grammy Award-winning Virgin Classics recording of Carlysle Floyd’s Susannah and in La Calisto by Cavalli on the Harmonia Mundi label. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and two children.

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