David Klassen, classical voice and music theatre

Noted for his “rich baritone” (Minneapolis Star Tribune), David Klassen holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Manitoba.  His operatic performance highlights include an award-winning performance of the title role in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, the Minnesota premier performance as Valmont in Susa’s Dangerous Liaisons, and Demetrius in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Mr. Klassen’s versatility as a performer has brought him to the stage in New York, Minnesota, throughout the Canadian Prairies and beyond.  In addition to singing as a soloist on the Opera, Oratorio and Concert stages, he has performed in chamber settings with Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Brandon Chamber Players, Winnipeg’s GroundSwell, The Chamber Players of Saint Paul, and Manitoba’s Mennonite Community Orchestra.  His list of solo repertoire is diverse, including Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, Handel’s Messiah and numerous roles with the Winnipeg Gilbert and Sullivan Society.  Recently, Mr. Klassen has been engaged by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Saskatoon Opera, and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra singing Rossini’s Largo al Factotum for a Canada Day audience of thirty thousand. 

Currently residing in Manitoba with his wife and two children, Mr. Klassen maintains a busy schedule performing and teaching.  He holds positions on the voice faculties at the University of Manitoba, Providence University College, and Canadian Mennonite University where he directs and teaches courses in Opera and Theatre. 

His students have been accepted to several prominent undergraduate and graduate music programs in both Canada and the United States including University of Toronto, University of Manitoba, University of Alberta, Boston Conservatory, and the New York Film Institute.   His students have been engaged as soloists with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Winnipeg Gilbert and Sullivan Society, Opera NUOVA in Edmonton, and Halifax Summer Opera Festival among others.  As a professional singer and teacher, he has studied languages with renowned diction coaches including Pierre Vallet (New York Metropolitan Opera), and Nico Castel, and coached with several teachers from institutions including Julliard, Boston Conservatory, Edmonton Opera, Kansas City Lyric Opera and San Jose Opera.

He has conducted numerous choirs ranging from grade 5 to adult in church, school and community settings and has worked at a local level to create opportunities for young singers and actors through the production of numerous operas and musicals.  In 2015, he was nominated for CBC’s “Manitoba Future 40” award for his work as a singer and university educator in the province, and in his home city of Steinbach where he has been acknowledged numerous times as one of the region’s greatest contributors to the Arts.

Position: Adjudicator
Festival: Solo/Small Ensemble (Main)