I never heard of David Daniels until The Advocate reviewed one of his CDs in the magazine’s print edition in the early 2000s (Please accept my apologies for failing to recall which CD. Mr. Daniels has recorded many, and I own most of them now).
The review made up my mind. I walked into Streetlight Records on Market Street in San Francisco and ordered the CD. The staff hadn’t heard of him, and I hope they were able to work up some curiosity after I told them the disc I was ordering got a rave review in The Advocate.
Born in South Carolina in 1966, Mr. Daniels has had an impressive career. As a mature artist, he has portrayed Oscar Wilde in Santa Fe Opera’s 2013 premiere of Oscar, based on the trial and imprisonment of writer Oscar Wilde.
On June 21, 2014, David Daniels and Scott Walters were married by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The video below is a casual performance of Barbaro Traditor, from Vivaldi’s opera Bajazet. Fabio Biondi conducts Europa Galante.
Although Mr. Daniels is a serious artist, he enjoys keeping the mood light whenever appropriate.
Maybe the public would have a stronger interest in opera if more singers had images similar to his. One of the things we loved most about Beverly Sills was her sense of humor. She charmed talk show audiences and sang with the Muppets.
Opera fans with a sincere love of music should respect the artists who reject affectation. The whole genre is about being human, and the artists are no less than human. It’s worth adding that the haughty society people who make a point of being seen in deluxe seats at the opera house are no more than human, although some of them may have forgotten that.