Praised by The Miami Herald for his “commanding stage presence and a voice of seductive beauty,” baritone David McFerrin is achieving critical acclaim in a wide variety of repertoire.
On the opera stage Mr. McFerrin has appeared in a number of productions with his hometown company, Boston Lyric Opera. Recently he was much admired for his portrayal of the Officer in BLO’s production of Philip Glass’ gripping two-character piece In the Penal Colony — a performance the Wall Street Journal hailed as “disturbingly eloquent”. Other BLO performances this season included Johann in Massenet’s Werther and Cascada in Lehar’s The Merry Widow. In BLO’s 2014-15 season, Mr. McFerrin appeared in Janacek’s Katya Kabanova and Martin’s The Love Potion, making what Opera News called “a powerful impression” as King Mark. He has also sung with Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Opera Boston, Sarasota Opera, the Tanglewood Festival 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.Mr. McFerrin’s 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. Recent highlights include solo performances in Bach’s B Minor Mass and Handel’s Messiah with the Handel and Haydn Society and a program of Purcell odes with the TENET ensemble at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico. This season Mr. McFerrin joined TENET again in New York in a program of Praetorius; returned to the Artist Series of Sarasota in a set of pops performances; and performed with the Handel and Haydn
Society in Canada, California and Boston. 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 and Seraphic Fire in Miami. His concert repertoire includes Bach’s St. John Passion 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 Brahms, Fauré and Duruflé Requiems. In April Mr. McFerrin was runner-up in the Lyndon Woodside Oratorio-Solo Competition, the country’s premier competition for oratorio repertoire held in Carnegie Hall.
An avid recitalist, Mr. McFerrin has sung at the Caramoor Festival, the Steans Institute at the Ravinia Festival, and as a Marc and Eva 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 residencies performing chamber music at the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont. He is also a member of the renaissance ensemble Blue Heron.
Mr. McFerrin grew up in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, surrounded by music; a college choral director, his mother brought baby David to her rehearsals in a bassinet. He started violin lessons at age five, joined a children’s choir two years later, and spent much of his adolescence fitting orchestra and musical theatre rehearsals around ultimate frisbee practices and outing club adventures. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Carleton College in music and political economy, he completed 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, given annually to promising young American singers. He now lives in the Boston neighborhood of Roslindale with his wife Erin, a preservationist with the Massachusetts Historical Commission, and their black lab Holly.