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.
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. His performances include a Carnegie Hall debut with Gustavo Dudamel and the Israel Philharmonic, as well as with the Cleveland Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Miami’s Seraphic Fire, Cleveland’s Apollo’s Fire, and Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society and A Far Cry. David has also appeared at the Tanglewood Festival, Carmel Bach Festival, and Casals Festival in Puerto Rico. He was a runner-up in the Oratorio Society of New York's 2016 Lyndon Woodside Solo Competition, the premier contest for this genre. His concert repertoire includes Bach’s St. John Passion, B Minor Mass and Christmas Oratorio; Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis; Handel’s Messiah, Joshua, and Samson; Haydn’s Creation and Mass in Time of War; Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem and Five Mystical Songs; and the requiems of Brahms, Fauré and Duruflé. This fall he performs Bach with the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston and Arion Baroque Orchestra in Montreal, Monteverdi with New York’s TENET, an opera gala with the Cape Symphony, and throughout the Northeast and the UK with the Boston-based renaissance ensemble Blue Heron.
David is also a mainstay of the Boston opera scene, and has sung on many other leading stages in the US and Europe. A former Emerging Artist with Boston Lyric Opera, he has performed numerous roles with the company, including King Mark in Martin’s The Love Potion, Pallante in Handel’s Agrippina, Jason McFarlane in Beeson’s Lizzie Borden, and the Officer in Philip Glass’ gripping two-character drama In the Penal Colony — a portrayal the Wall Street Journal hailed as “disturbingly eloquent.” This season he creates the role of Dr. Ferguson in BLO’s world premiere of Julian Grant’s The Nefarious, Immoral but Highly Profitable Enterprise of Mr. Burke & Mr. Hare. Last season David debuted with Boston Baroque as Achilla in Handel’s Giulio Cesare. Other local opera credits include Opera Boston and Intermezzo Opera. David has also sung with Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Sarasota Opera, and the Rossini Festival in Wildbad, Germany. Additional 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.
An avid recitalist and chamber musician, 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 residencies at the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont. Recently David curated and performed a program of songs from World War I with soprano Deborah Selig and pianist Clifton J. Noble, Jr. The recital was presented last season in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and is a part of the upcoming series at the Cosmos Club in Washington DC.
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 now lives in the Boston neighborhood of Roslindale with his wife Erin, a preservation planner with the Massachusetts Historical Commission, and their black lab Holly.