Bass-baritone David Okerlund has performed over 100 operas, recitals, symphonic works, and oratorios in the past 25 years throughout North America, Europe and Asia. He has received several honors for his singing, including winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Regional auditions, the National Opera Association Competition runner-up, semi-finalist for the Richard Tucker Competition, and semi-finalist in the International Belvedere Competition in Vienna, Austria.
Okerlund has established himself in critically acclaimed performances in leading roles at The San Francisco Opera, The National Theater of Tokyo, The Hyogo Performing Arts Center, Vancouver Opera, L’ Opera National du Rhein (France), Teatro Carlo Felice (Italy), Opera de Lyon (France), Pittsburgh Opera, Connecticut Opera Theater, Arizona Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and Opera Carolina.
Okerlund’s students have won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions at the district, regional, semi-final, and grand final levels in addition to being semi-finalists and finalists at the Palm Beach Opera and National Opera Association Competitions. Recently, Okerlund’s students have held positions at the following professional young artist programs in North America including: Santa Fe Opera, Kentucky Opera, Pensacola Opera, Opera Theater of Virginia, Nashville Opera, Minnesota Opera, Sarasota Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Atlanta Opera Studio, Opera Colorado, Arizona Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Central City Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Portland Opera, Florentine Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, the Los Angeles Opera Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program, the Washington National Opera Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, the San Francisco Opera Merola and Adler Fellowship programs, the Lyric Opera of Chicago Ryan Center Artists, and the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.
In 2019, Okerlund’s students sung as main stage artists at the Houston Grand Opera, the San Francisco Opera, Minnesota Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Washington National Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Omaha, Sarasota Opera, Dallas Opera, Minnesota Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Atlanta Opera, Arizona Opera, Opera Colorado, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the Metropolitan Opera.
Okerlund’s discography includes the 2006 world premiere recording of La Muerte de Colòn by Leonardo Balada (Naxos) and the 2001 world premiere San Francisco Opera production and recording of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking (Erato).
In addition to his responsibilities as Professor of Voice and Director of the Graduate Vocal Pedagogy Program at the College of Music, Okerlund regularly gives masterclasses, workshops, professional consultations, and lessons at major young artist programs throughout the United States. In 2019 Okerlund was named the Artist Teacher of Voice for the Atlanta Opera Studio.
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