Canadian baritone David Diston’s rapidly developing artistry is quickly gaining him recognition as a "sonorous baritone" (Huffington Post) with "full-throated and characterful singing" (Calgary Herald). A native of Niagara Falls, Canada, Mr. Diston is a graduate of the Calgary Opera Studio, in Calgary Alberta. He holds a Master of Music in Opera Performance from the University of Toronto and an Honours Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Western University. Having performed throughout North America, some of Mr. Diston’s notable roles include Ping (Turandot), Frederic (Lakmé), Pish-Tush (The Mikado), Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), and Dr. Malatesta (Don Pasquale). Mr. Diston’s recent performances of Schaunard (La Bohème) with both the Highlands Opera and the Mississauga Symphony have garnered him high praise: “David Diston was a vocally impressive Schaunard whose skilled acting - which could turn on a dime from tragic to hysterically funny - was central to the realistic garret scenes” (Opera Canada).
Mr. Diston’s reputation as an intelligent musician and skilled performer has provided him the pleasure of creating roles in new operatic works. These include Dr. Mann in the World Premier of Vehar’s SHOT! with Nickel City Opera of Buffalo New York, and Young Rattenbury with Pacific Opera Victoria in Stokes’ Rattenbury. Mr. Diston has also premiered concert works including Kositsky’s new oratorio A Mighty Cry, and several pieces developed through the University of Toronto, most recently Lover’s Dusk by Matthias McIntire. David Diston has also been proud to present multiple Canadian Premieres, including the roles of William Dale in Putt’s Silent Night, The Man in Cage’s The City Wears A Slouch Hat, and the cover for both Fritz and Frank in Korngold’s Die tote Stadt. As a talented and reliable young baritone, Mr. Diston has been engaged as a professional cover in North American houses for roles including Frederic (Lakmé), Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), and Escamillo (Carmen).
While pursuing operatic studies, David Diston’s educational performances include Mr. Gedge (Albert Herring), Dr. Malatesta (Don Pasquale), Dr. Dulcamara (L’Elisir d’amore), Marcello (La Bohème), Don Giovanni and Leporello (Don Giovanni), Dr. Falke (Die Fledermaus), Guglielmo and Don Alfonso (Cosi fan tutte), and Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), among others.
On the concert stage, Mr. Diston recently made his Toronto Symphony Orchestra debut as the baritone soloist in C. Nielsen’s Symphony No. 3, and his debut with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra as part of their Orchestra Moves concert series. Mr. Diston is excited to make his debut with the London Symphonia in 2020 as Jesus in Bach’s Johannes-Passion. Further concert works in Mr. Diston’s repertoire include The Messiah (Handel), Liebeslieder & Neue Liebeslieder Walzer and Ein Deutsches Requiem (Brahms), Symphony No. 9 (Beethoven), Fantasia on Christmas Carols and the Five Mystical Songs (Vaughan Williams), Les sept parole du Christ (Dubois), Requiem (Fauré), Lord Nelson Mass (Hayden), Requiem (Mozart), and several Bach Kantaten.
Mr. Diston’s high praise in performance has resulted in frequent competition recognition and awards. Mr. Diston was runner-up in the Clifford Poole Vocal Competition, co-winner of the Toronto Mozart Vocal Competition, and a proud recipient of a Canada Council for the Arts Professional Development Grant. David Diston has also received several monetary awards including the Clive Mortimer Memorial Prize, the Beverly and David Foy Young Artist Sponsorship, and several educational bursaries from the University of Toronto, Western University, in addition to summer opera studio grants.
As of October 2019 Mr. Diston lives and works in Berlin, Germany.
(C) Photography by Shelly
(C) Photography by Shelly