David Pittsinger

Bass-Baritone

Biography

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 2016-2017 season, Mr. Pittsinger returns to The Metropolitan Opera to sing Le Bret in Francesca Zambello’s production of Franco Alfano’s Cyrano de Bergerac. He also reprises his celebrated assumption of Fred Graham in Kiss Me, Kate, directed by Lee Blakely at the Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, which he debuted at the Théâtre du Châtelet last season. Additional engagements include his role debut as Cervantes/Don Quixote in Mitch Leigh’s Man of La Mancha at the Ivoryton Playhouse. Concert work for the 2016-2017 season includes a semi-staged production and recording of Leonard Bernstein’s A Quiet Place with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kent Nagano, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra led by Juanjo Mena, Handel’s Messiah with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and a concert of American songs with the Riverside Theatre in Vero Beach, Florida.

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Reviews

“The standout performance [in ‘Camelot’ at the Glimmerglass Festival] was David Pittsinger’s charismatic, nuanced Arthur, touchingly characterized and nobly voiced.”

Steve Smith

The New York Times

“Dominating the show, at least in this reviewer’s opinion, is David Pittsinger as Emile de Becque. Emile is in many ways the most operatic role ever written for a Broadway musical… Mr. Pittsinger fits this substantial résumé, and more. A veteran opera singer himself, his vocal skills are carefully tailored here to fit the mostly-Broadway spirit of the show. 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.”

Terry Ponick

The Washington Times

More Reviews

“David Pittsinger has become my favorite singer-actor, and he does not disappoint in the complex role of Reverend Hale…He does more in little moments of silence than most singer-actors deliver in their most powerful arias.”

Susan Galbraith, DC Theatre Scene

“The most impressive vocalism, and also the strongest characterization, came from Pittsinger as [Nick] Shadow. A dominating figure on stage, his resounding bass-baritone imparted import to even the most trivial words. He managed to deliver the craggy lines of his Act II scene and aria, “Come, master,” with the seductive urgency and magnetism of “Some enchanted evening.” ”

Robert Croan, Opera News

“The standout performance [in ‘Camelot’ at the Glimmerglass Festival] was David Pittsinger’s charismatic, nuanced Arthur, touchingly characterized and nobly voiced. ”

Steve Smith, The New York Times

“Dominating the show, at least in this reviewer’s opinion, is David Pittsinger as Emile de Becque. Emile is in many ways the most operatic role ever written for a Broadway musical… Mr. Pittsinger fits this substantial résumé, and more. A veteran opera singer himself, his vocal skills are carefully tailored here to fit the mostly-Broadway spirit of the show. 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.”

Terry Ponick, The Washington Times

“But wait until you hear the gorgeous ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ and ‘This Nearly Was Mine’ as sung by bass-baritone David Pittsinger, who portrays Emile de Becque, the smooth French wooer of the cockeyed American optimist, Ensign Nellie Forbush. That quadruple bassoon of a voice interpreting the Richard Rodgers melodies—among the most melting ever composed for the theater—is all the seduction that you or Nellie need. Somehow, the effortlessness of Pittsinger’s technique helps in the illusion that the great romance at the core of ‘South Pacific’ truly is operatic in scope.”

Peter Marks, The Washington Post

“The bass-baritone David Pittsinger made an intimidating Don Giovanni, physically impressive and deploying a voice that radiated power even when he was singing softly. In Là ci darem la mano, he displayed vocal beauty that had a muscular edge, preventing his voice from ever descending into empty prettiness. This was particularly apparent in the mandolin-accompanied serenade Deh vieni alla finestra, where Pittsinger’s husky voice effectively undermined the Don’s would-be sweetness”

David Fleshler, South Florida Classical Review