B.A., Harvard University, 1970
M.M., New England Conservatory of Music, 1977
MUSI 448/895: Opera Workshop
MUSI 713: Art Song
MUSI 545/745/ 845: Voice
For over 35 years, American Bass-Baritone David Ripley has been heard widely in oratorio, recital, chamber opera, early, contemporary, and American Songbook programs. Recent appearances include singing with the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra under John Page in A Night at the Opera and Samuel Barber’s Dover Beach at Tufts University. In the fall of 2014, he was recipient of the prestigious St. Botolph’s Club Distinguish Artist Award. Past music recipients include composer Daniel Pinkham, conductors John Oliver and Lorna Cooke DeVaron, and theorist Walter Piston. Mr. Ripley performed in Tanglewood’s Ozawa Hall for the fortieth anniversary of Aston Magna, with whom he was soloist for twenty-five seasons. While with the Waverly Consort, he sang in its series twenty times at Lincoln Center. With Waverly and the Boston Camerata, he has toured widely throughout the United States, Europe and South America. He was soloist with the New England Bach Festival for twenty years, appearing in Carnegie Hall. With Boston Musical Theatre, in addition to Boston and New York, he has given performances of the American Songbook in Paris, Brussels, Moscow, St. Petersburg and for the Ambassadors of NATO through the U.S. Embassy. Their four recordings include All That Jazz, Live from Rachmaninoff Hall, We’ll Meet Again: The Music of World War II, Fly Me to the Moon: Songs of American Vocal Legends and Blues in the Night; The Songs of Johnny Mercer. His other recordings include the recent 2016 issue of Wohin, a double CD of Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin, Schumann’s Dichterliebe and Vaughn Williams’ Songs of Travel with, and in honor of, the late Arlene Kies. Also with Arlene is their first recording, A New Season, featuringworks of Ives, Fauré, Schubert, and Brahms,and Ne Point Passer, songs of Gabriel Fauré and Henri Duparc. As a narrator he has recorded Enoch Arden, A.L. Tennyson with music by Richard Strauss, with pianist Chad Bowles (UNH '03) and Poems and Stories, works by Christopher Kies. All have received fine critical praise.
At UNH, his many lieder recitals include Schubert’s Die Winterreise and Die Schöne Müllerin, and highly challenging contemporary programs. A lover of folk music, in the spring of 2017 he will present The Times They are Still Changin’/ Folk Songs of the 1960’s with guest artists. Professor Ripley appeared at the first Vietnam Moratorium on Boston Common in 1969 while a senior at Harvard. Along with members of the Metropolitan Opera he sang the premier of Louis Spratlin’s opera, Life is a Dream, winner of the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Music. At the Metropolitan Opera House and the Kennedy Center he was guest soloist with the American Ballet Theatre, singing the songs of Stephen Foster in Americans We, choreographed by Twyla Tharp. In Boston, Ripley premiered Peter Childs' one act opera Embers, based on the play by Samuel Beckett. Richard Dyer, of the Boston Globe wrote of the performance: "Baritone David Ripley…gave an impressive demonstration of vocal skill, musicianship, stamina, memory, and imagination." Ripley has championed much new music also including Bleak Light of Peter Child (2000), Michael Carnes’ War Songs I, II (1987, 1994), Malcolm Peyton’s Sonnets of John Donne (Centaur Records 1991) and Sing to Me Man, of the Muse (2004) and The Rage of Achilles (2008) by noted UNH composer Lori Dobbins. He has had leading roles in seven operatic premiers including The Yellow Wallpaper and “S” of Ron Perera (1989,1996), The Village Store Verbatim of Larry Siegel (1991), Elmer Gantry of Bob Aldridge (winner of the 2015 Grammy Award), and as Der Tod in the 1994 Boston-New York premier of Viktor Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis.
In New Hampshire, Ripley is known for his work with groups such as the Concord Choral, the Seacoast Singers, and the Hanover Handel Society. He gave a highly successful series of lectures on the history of western music entitled The World’s Chime, at the Nashua Public Library through the New Hampshire Council for Humanities. With a long and active interest in songs for voice and guitar, he has two recordings of his own compositions, Turning Up Stones and Mustard Seed, Songs of Faith. An honors graduate of both Harvard College and the New England Conservatory of Music, Ripley spent two summers of study at Tanglewood.
At UNH he was given the Outstanding Associate Professor Award in 2007. He teaches voice and directs the opera workshop giving both scenes and full productions of classic operas, including Mozart’s Magic Flute, Copland’s The Tender Land, Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann, Puccini’s La Boheme, Benjamin Britten’s The Beggars Opera, Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief, Monteverdi’s Orfeo, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and in 2015, the beloved songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein.