President and Founder of NYIOP
David Blackburn is one of the world’s premiere talent scouts and consultants for discovering operatic talent and making connections worldwide in all facets of the opera industry. With contacts at top international opera houses, festivals, agencies and other presenting organizations, and almost two decades of high-level international presence, few people in the opera business have a wider reach to connect the opera world and to help emerging artists with their careers.
David Blackburn founded and manages NYIOP, which scouts singers and organizes professional opera auditions around the world. Since its creation in 2002, the NYIOP Auditions have brought over 150 opera houses to hear singers in New York City, San Francisco, Beijing, Berlin, Bologna, Napoli and Vienna, and over 30 other cities internationally, on 5 continents.
Mr. Blackburn acts as an artistic consultant to a number of major opera houses and agencies worldwide on casting and collaborations at every level. In the past, he has served in the role of Director of Artistic Administration for the Palm Beach Opera and also as a Vice President for IMG Artists, opening their Berlin office. Since 2015, he also serves as the Chief Consultant to the Young Artist Studio at the Bolshoi Opera in Moscow and since 2019 he is the International Strategic Consultant for the Ibáñez-Atkinson Foundation in Santiago, Chile.
He acts as a professional consultant to the Adler Fellows at the San Francisco Opera as well as for the Internationale Opernstudio of the Opernhaus Zürich, has organized the United States-based auditions for the Paris Opera Studio (Atelier Lyrique), and has taught at several prestigious summer programs including Music Academy International, OperaVIVA, V.O.I.C.Experience with Sherrill Milnes and at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, Israel as well a founded the Academia della Lirica Italiana in Bari, Italy. David has been featured in masterclasses at Northwestern University, Manhattan School of Music, the Juilliard School for business of opera preparation, among other institutions.
He has taken part on the jury of the National Semi-Finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions as well as several other regional and district auditions, has been invited to the Richard Tucker Foundation auditions, the recommendation committee of the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, and the juries of the Competizione dell’Opera at the Sächsische Staatsoper “Semperoper” Dresden, official attendee of the Hans Gabor Belvedere Gesangswettbewerb in Vienna and the Shreveport Opera Singer of the Year.
He holds a Bachelor of Music summa cum laude from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a private student of Gérard Souzay, and a Master of Music from the Manhattan School of Music. During his professional singing career he appeared with the Opera Theater of St. Louis, Portland Opera, Ft. Worth Opera and in concert in many international centers. He has also held positions at American Express, Lehmann Brothers and Credit Suisse.