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David Walton has made numerous appearances across the country as an up-and-coming lyric tenor. He spent two years as a resident artist with Minnesota Opera. Appearances this past season included covering Larry Renault in the World Premiere of William Bolcom’s Dinner at Eight and debuting the shepherd Silvio performed alongside Alek Shrader’s Endimione in a new production of the Lorenzo Da Ponte rarity, L’arbore di Diana by Vicente Martin Martín y Soler. As Tybalt in their production of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, Mr. Walton was described as “the production’s only good villain … a tightly coiled ball of restless anger” (Pioneer Press). He sang in the world premiere of Paul Moravec’s The Shining as Delbert Grady, with Opera News praising Mr. Walton as “equally chilling in his casual charm and suavity.” Other roles at Minnesota Opera include Brighella in Ariadne auf Naxos, Spoletta in Tosca, and Tamino in The Magic Flute, where the Duluth News Tribune praised his “clean, clear voice.” Mr. Walton made his Glimmerglass Festival debut as Parpignol in La bohème and sang the role of Count Alberto in Rossini’s L’occasione fa il ladro as a member of their Young Artist Program. He also covered Reverend Parris in Francesca Zambello’s staging of The Crucible, performed the tenor solo from Rossini’s Stabat Mater, and played Frederic in a scene from Pirates of Penzance for special guest Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. As a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, he sang Student in La rondine, Belmonte in scenes from Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail with the Saint Louis Symphony, and covered Matthew Gurney in Tobias Picker’s Emmeline. He also sang “Azor” in Opera for the Young’s tour of Zemire et Azor by André Grétry, and Ernesto in Don Pasquale with Brava! Opera Theatre of Ashland, Oregon. He recently sang the title role in Albert Herring with Union Avenue Opera in St. Louis, 4th Jew in Salome with the Minnesota Orchestra, and Remendado in Carmen with the Lakes Area Music Festival.
David is a recipient of the 2017 Sullivan Foundation Grant from the William Matheus Sullivan Foundation. He won 2nd Place and the Italian Diction Award in the 2017 Marcello Giordani Foundation International Vocal Competition and also received 2nd Place and Audience Choice Award with the 2017 Opera Birmingham Vocal Competition. Other competitions include the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions where he was a finalist in the Upper Midwest region and a district winner for Minnesota. Concert highlights include performing the tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, and Rogue Valley Symphony, Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang with Lipscomb University, and Cantata BWV 88 with the Minnesota Bach Ensemble.
Described as “superb partner,” pianist Mark Bilyeu passionately engages in music as a committed performer, inspiring teacher and enterprising curator. He was the only American finalist in the 2015 Das Lied Song Competition, and maintains an active performing schedule. He has served as faculty at Viterbo University and was the Visiting Artist in Vocal Coaching and Collaborative Piano at the University of Northern Iowa. He is also the Co-Founding Artistic Director of the Source Song Festival. Held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Source is a week-long celebration of words and music which includes public concerts and masterclasses by international artists for pianists and singers, as well as a composer institute led by Libby Larsen.
Bilyeu has performed at such venues as the Grand Théâtre de Tours (France), the Schubert Club of St. Paul, the Everson Museum (New York), PianoForte Foundation, and the Belle Sylvester Recital Series of New York. He has been heard via live radio broadcast on Minnesota Public Radio with soprano Lori Phillips, and on WFMT via the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series. He holds degrees from the Chicago College of Performing Arts and the University of Minnesota, studying with Timothy Lovelace and Chicago Symphony Orchestra pianist Mary Sauer. He has studied at the Aspen Summer Music Festival, Britten-Pears, Vancouver International Song Institute and l’Academie Françis Poulenc. Additional studies with Malcolm Martineau, Roger Vignoles and Susan Manoff.
Upcoming recording projects include “The Transmodernist Troubadour,” a recording of music by Australian composer Nicholas Vines with baritone Aaron Engebreth on the Navonna label and a Winterreise recording on Leaf Records with tenor Jon Valender.
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About the Host
Composer Abbie Betinis writes music called “inventive, richly melodic” (The New York Times), “superb, whirling, soaring” (Tacoma News Tribune), and “the highlight” of the program (Boston Globe). With over 50 commissioned works for ensembles such as Cantus, the New England Philharmonic, and The Rose Ensemble, Abbie has been awarded a McKnight Composer Fellowship, grants from the American Composers Forum, ASCAP, and Jerome Foundation, and was recently listed in NPR Music’s Top 100 Composers Under 40. A resident of Saint Paul, she is adjunct professor of composition at Concordia University, and was composer-in-residence with the Schubert Club from 2005-2017.