David Kempster was born in Wales. He is a rarity in the UK, a ‘true Verdi baritone. With a growing number of Italian roles to his name and with recent successes as Guillaume Tell and Balstrode in Peter Grimes. David continues to go from strength to strength. He is the baritone of choice for Welsh National Opera and has worked at Covent Garden and with houses in Europe and the US. Solist at Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen.
David Kempster Welsh baritone
David Kempster was born in North Wales and studied at the Royal Northern College of Music. He joined English National Opera as a Principal Baritone in 1998, where his many roles included Marcello La Bohème, Lescaut Manon Lescaut, Conte di Luna Il Trovatore, Poacher Cunning Little Vixen and Teddy Foran in the world premiere of Mark Anthony Turnage’s The Silver Tassie. David has since returned to ENO as Escamillo Carmen, Sharpless Madama Butterfly, Agamemnon La Belle Hélène and most recently Belcore Elixir of Love.
A long and productive relationship with Welsh National Opera has seen David appear in the title role as Don Giovanni, Guillaume Tell and Nabucco, the Duke of Nottingham Roberto Devereux, Riccardo Forth I Puritani, Thaos Iphigenie en Tauride, Marcello La Bohème and his hugely successful role debut as Iago Otello. Most recently, David appeared as Alfio / Tonio in WNO’s double bill of Cavalleria Rusticana / I Pagliacci in celebration of the company’s 70th anniversary.
Elsewhere in the UK, David has appeared at Glyndebourne as Escamillo Carmen and Falke Die Fledermaus; at Opera North as Iago, and Cecil Maria Stuarda; at Aldeburgh Festival as Balstrode in their acclaimed outdoor production of Peter Grimes, and at Buxton Festival as Nottingham, and Miller Luisa Miller. In the US, David made his debut as Sharpless with Dallas Opera, returning to sing Nottingham. He has also appeared as Lescaut Manon Lescaut for Florida Grand Opera.
Recent performances include Marco Gianni Schicchi at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Sharpless Madama Butterfly for the Royal Danish Opera and Riccardo Forth I Puritani for Den Jyske Opera. David also appeared at the Royal Ballet in Will Tuckett’s production of Elizabeth at the Linbury Studio, which was filmed for Sky Arts.
On the concert platform, David has performed with leading orchestras, including Fauré Requiem with BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Orff’s Carmina Burana with London Concert Orchestra, Elgar’s The Apostles with the Hallé and Dream of Gerontius with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and Handel’s Judas Maccabeus with the London Mozart Players. He has appeared at the BBC Proms, National Eisteddfod of Wales, the Welsh Proms and the Machynlleth Festival.
Recent performances include Peter The Apostles at the BBC Proms, and Aida at the Royal Albert Hall, Eugene Onegin (Hallé/Mark Elder) and Leonore (Schlossfestspiele, Ludwigsburg). His recordings include Sévère in Donizetti’s Les Martyrs for Opera Rara, chosen as Album of the Year at the 2016 International Opera Awards.
Recent appearances have included Don Giovanni for Opera Theatre Company in Dublin, the title role of Prince Igor and Nabucco for Chelsea Opera Group at Cadogan Hall, and a return to WNO as Sharpless Madama Butterfly on tour in the UK and Dubai. David is currently a member of the solo ensemble at the Royal Danish Opera, Copenhagen. During his 17/18 season in Denmark David sang the title role in Rigoletto, Sharpless Madama Butterfly, Jack Rance La fanciulla del West; Roc in Exterminating Angel and Iago Otello.
His roles for the 18-19 season in Copenhagen will include Di Luna in Francisco Negrin’s new production of Il Trovatore, followed by Marcello La Boheme, Scarpia, Tosca and Nixon in China.