On March 30, 2013, baritone David Pershall '10MM, 11AD won the Marcello Giordani Foundation International Vocal Competition in Vero Beach, Florida. In collaboration with and under the sponsorship of the Vero Beach Opera, the primary objective of the competition is to "lead talented young singers toward a successful career on the operatic stage." The first prize was an award of $10,000.
The Marcello Giordani Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to the promotion of Italian opera and culture throughout the world, and specifically to the encouragement of a new generation of dedicated young opera singers whom it hopes will foster the future of opera. The Vero Beach Competition is in its third year.
David Pershall has won many prestigious vocal awards, including first prize in the New Jersey Verismo Competition and the David L. Kasdon Memorial Prize for the Outstanding Singer at the Yale School of Music. This year he joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera as the first cover of Lord Cecil in Maria Stuarda. Additionally, he appeared in concert performances with Dallas Opera, premiered as Zurga in Les Pêcheurs de Perles at Virginia Opera, and premiered as Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia at El Paso Opera.
Pershall is a graduate of the Yale Opera program at the Yale School of Music, where he performed the title role of Don Giovanni, Escamillo in La Tragédie de Carmen, Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, Grigory Smirnov in The Bear, and Papageno in Die Zauberflöte. According to Opera News, Mr. Pershall "dispatches his smooth, evenly produced lyric baritone with elegance and style, but there's something else underneath it—a certain bite and gravitas that pull in the listener immediately."