|Baritone David Pershall|
Photo by Arthur Cohen
Q. Where are you originally from and where do you make your home now?
A. I was born in Oklahoma City OK, but grew up in Temple TX. I currently live in New Brunswick, NJ and will move to Vienna, Austria in September as the majority of my work next year will be with the Vienna Staatsoper.
|As the birdman, Papageno, in Mozart's|
The Magic Flute at Virginia Opera
A. I have always had a love for music – my mother is a piano instructor so naturally that was my first instrument. Through the years I began to take voice lessons. I have always ADORED opera, and I heard my very first one in high school on a record my first voice teacher loaned me. It was not until college when I was studying at Baylor University that I thought I would try to make a living singing opera.
Q. Did you have other career aspirations in the works before you decided on singing?
A. I have always been fascinated with math and the stars. There was a time I thought I would become an aerospace engineer or astrophysicist
|Mr. Pershall as Enrico in Donizetti's|
Lucia di Lammermoor
A. Yes, this will be my debut singing the role of Count de Luna. I was thrilled at the thought of taking on the part because Il trovatore is one of my most favorite operas.
Q. What can you tell us about this character? What do you want the audience to know about him?
A. I think this opera tells a special story. De Luna is known as the BAD guy in this opera- which is true to a point. De Luna’s life sort of unravels as a result of love. This in and of itself inspires sympathy. However, the story of De Luna also teaches restraint, in that his life is torn apart because of the obsessive type of love he feels for Leonora.
|Mr. Pershall in concert at the Beethoven |
Easter Festival in Warsaw, Poland
A. First and foremost I begin technical preparations to ensure my body is up to the task at hand. Then I study the libretto to dig into the psychology of the character in the way he speaks and the way he relates to others. This is followed with a study of the score, which provides clarification on what the composer thought of the character and gives the ultimate indication on how to turn a phrase dramatically. The final step is putting it altogether. These steps provide the most efficient and effective way to communicate with the audience.
Q. Thus far, what is the most bizarre experience you have had during a rehearsal or performance?
A. My pants split in a performance of Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia.
Q. Do you have any pre-performance rituals?
A. I pray and ask God to enhance the gifts He has bestowed upon me.
|Mr. Pershall as Zurga in Bizet's The Pearl Fishers|
at Virginia Opera.
A. I enjoy spending time with my wife, reading, going for walks, and checking out the local museums.
Q. How do you stay connected to family and friends when you are “on the road”? Do you keep a blog? Website? Facebook? Twitter?
A. I call my wife daily when she is not with me. I have a website which people can check out at www.DavidPershall.com. I also keep a personal Facebook account, I am on Twitter (@DavidPershall), and people can enjoy clips of my performances on my YouTube channel. Just search DavidPershallOPERA on YouTube (or you can just click here: http://www.youtube.com/user/DavidPershallOPERA.)
Don't miss the chance to see Mr. Pershall's debut as Count de Luna in Sarasota Opera's Winter Festival production of Verdi's Il trovatore opening February 8th and running through March 22nd. Tickets are available at www.sarasotaopera.org or by calling (941) 328-1300.