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David John Pike.

More often than not, Canadian singers train in Canada or the U.S., start a vocal career in North America and then, when more established, try to break into Europe and Great Britain. Not baritone David John Pike, who seems to be doing things in reverse. Now based in Luxembourg with the love of his life and two teenage stepchildren, his vocal career is well on its way in the U. K. and Europe, but he's now hoping to build more of a presence in Canada and the U.S.

A native of Kingston, Ont., Pike sang as a child and continued in choirs, including the Toronto Mendelssohn. Choir and the Elmer Iseler Singers. He earned a business degree at Concordia University in Montreal, and for several years balanced his life between professional singing and a business career. He studied with William Perry at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto before the business career took him to London, England, where his love and activity in vocal and choral music continued to develop with such ensembles as the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and the noted choral conductor, Harry Christophers. He also, continued vocal studies in London, with English mezzo Theresa Goble at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Moving to lessons with celebrated American basso profundo Daniel Lewis Williams forced him to begin thinking about music as a full-time career. Williams told Pike, "if you don't sing, it will be a sin."

So about three years ago, Pike closeted the three-piece business suits and brogues and jumped. After completing English National Opera's Operaworks program for young artists, he spent a season in the chorus and as a cover at Glyndebourne Festival Opera. He made his debut as Marcello in Puccini's La boheme and his career has become increasingly busy ever since, with opera and oratorio gigs in Luxembourg, France, Germany, Belgium, England and home in Canada. Pike has participated in master classes with British tenor Ian Bostridge and American baritone Sherrill Wiles, while continuing to study with Daniel Lewis Williams. Keen to balance opera with recitals and oratorio, he was slated to appear in Handel's Messiah early last December in Trier, Germany, followed by Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem in February in Guildford Cathedral in England and the Faure Requiem in March back in Trier. In April, he takes on his first Scarpia in a new production of Puccini's Tosca at Pacific Opera Victoria, opposite the Tosca of Canadian Joni Henson. The following month, he returns home to Kingston for a concert of arias by Bach and Mozart.

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Also last December, Whither Must I Wander, Pike's new recording with pianist Isabelle Trub, was released on the English independent label, Signum Classics. Produced with the help of Luxembourg's cultural radio station and the Vaughan Williams Charitable Trust, it features the Songs of Travel cycle and three of the Five Mystical Songs by Ralph Vaughan Williams, as well as English songs by Gerald Finzi and Roger Quilter. In the near future, Pike hopes to take on the roles of Mozart's Figaro and Don Giovanni, more Verdiand Puccini, recital programs of lieder by Schubert and Schumann and more oratorio work. Talented and determined, his career developing nicely in Europe and the U. K., Pike has ambitious plans to make the move into North America.
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Title Annotation:Artists on Stage
Author:Phillips, Rick
Publication:Opera Canada
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Dec 22, 2012
Words:556
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