David Malis, the first American to win the prestigious Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, began his operatic career with the San Francisco Opera, making his debut as Papageno in Die Zauberflöte. He made his “MET in the Parks” debut during the summer of 1987, as Belcore in Donizetti’s “L’elisir d’amore”, in a production that included Luciano Pavarotti, Giuseppe Taddei and Kathleen Battle. Mr. Malis’ official MET house debut as Marcello in La Bohème led to twelve seasons there as a leading baritone in a variety of roles; as Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos, Ned Keene in Peter Grimes, Schaunard in La Bohème, Falke in Die Fledermaus, and more seasons as Papageno. Mr. Malis has performed Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff at La Scala, the Royal Opera at Covent Garden, the Teatro Colòn in Buenos Aires, the Welsh National Opera, and the Thêàtre des Champs-Elysées. He has returned to San Francisco Opera to sing Ford in Falstaff, Marcello in La Bohème, Silvio in I Pagliacci, Ping in Turandot, Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and to reprise his critically acclaimed Papageno, in the David Hockney production. Mr. Malis has performed Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia over thirty times with renowned Rossini maestro Alberto Zedda. Figaro also served as his debut role at the Vienna State Opera and the Netherlands Opera. Mr. Malis has appeared in concert in many cities around the world, including New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Seattle, Hong Kong, Cardiff and Stockholm.
Mr. Malis has taught voice and coached/directed operatic repertoire worldwide; as head of Gli Apprendisti at the Opera Theater of Lucca in Lucca, Italy, for Oberlin in Italy in Urbania, Italy, and for the University of Miami in Salzburg, Austria. As Opera Director of the Crested Butte Music Festival and the Festival de Musique de St. Barthélémy for twelve years, Mr. Malis produced, directed, cast and performed in La Bohème, Cosi fan tutte, Le Nozze di Figaro, Die Zauberflöte, Carmen, La Traviata, L’elisir d’amore, Faust, Die Fledermaus, Don Pasquale, The Merry Widow, The Bear, Madam Butterfly, La Sonnambula, Gianni Schicchi, Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Rigoletto. A student and protégé of one of the greatest singing actors of the twentieth century, legendary Italian bass Italo Tajo, Mr. Malis has participated in the production of opera in almost every capacity; singing, conducting, casting, directing, costuming, set and lighting design, and choral preparation. Tuscan maestro Lorenzo Malfatti was Mr. Malis’ voice teacher, Italian coach, confidant and mentor for almost thirty years. He has served as a judge for The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the Chester Ludgin Memorial Verdi Baritone Competition in Manhattan, sharing MC and adjudication duties with Julius Rudel and Placido Domingo.
Mr. Malis’ recent engagements include the title role in Verdi’s Falstaff with Atlanta Opera, Opera Southwest and the Crested Butte Music Festival, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore with Cleveland Opera, Germont in La Traviata with Arizona Opera, Eisenstein with Baltimore Opera, directing Cosi fan tutte, Madame Butterfly and Don Pasquale for the Opera Theater of Lucca, and a critically acclaimed role debut as Kurwenal in a recording of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde for Titanic Records.