Biography

After initial studies in Australia with Diana Harris OAM, David Barnard moved to the UK where he was accepted into the prestigious Britten-Pears School, British Youth Opera and Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now programs. His career went on to span; opera, song and chamber music with recitals, radio broadcasts, alongside his work as a vocal coach and teacher. Teachers and mentors have included, Michael Kieren-Harvey, Fraser Goulding and Peter Robinson.

David has collaborated with numerous instrumentalists, including members of the Australian Defence Force, the BBC, London, Adelaide, Sydney, Los Angeles, New York, Melbourne, Royal Concertgebouw, Antwerp, Symphony & Philharmonic Orchestras, as well as playing orchestral piano & celeste for the Melbourne, Adelaide & BBC Symphony Orchestras. David is most celebrated for his recital work with singers, including, Janis Kelly, Richard Suart, Sarah Fox, Lesley Garrett CBE, Rosamund Illing, José Carbó and Elizabeth Campbell. Piano duo/duet partners have included Malcolm Martineau OBE and Leslie Howard. Radio credits include, BBC Radio 3, BBC Scotland, RTÉ, 3mbs Melbourne, 5mbs Adelaide and ABC Classic FM (Australia).

As chief repetiteur, conductor and chorus master, companies include, State Opera of South Australia, English Touring Opera, Opera Australia, Opera North, English National Opera, and as a vocal coach, he has prepared principal artists from these and many other international opera companies. 

Festival appearances include, Oxford Lieder, London Song Fest, Leeds Lieder+, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Hodsock Priory (artistic director), Coriole Festival (Aus) as well as guest appearances and gala performances in Spain, France, Italy, Slovenia, Poland and Germany.

David has given masterclasses for conservatoria and universities in the UK and Australia – including: Yamaha Australia, the Accompanist Guild of South Australia and the Mietta Song Competition. David has adjudicated eisteddfods and local competitions in both the UK and Australia as well as the ABC Australian Young Performer of the Year (Chamber Music) and the (Australian) National Lieder Festival.

David was based in the UK for 13 years and returned to Australia in 2013 as he was appointed Head of Music for the State Opera of South Australia, and whilst based in Melbourne, he was a staff member of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, University of Melbourne as a specialist vocal coach and tutor. David was invited to Buckingham Palace in October 2011 as a ‘Significant Australian living and working in the UK’ and in 2015, he was awarded a prestigious 50th Anniversary Winston Churchill Fellowship in Australia. David has recently joined the full-time performance staff of the New Zealand School of Music as the Head of Accompanying and Vocal Coaching, where he is developing the curriculum of collaborative piano, through partnerships with New Zealand Opera, Royal New Zealand Ballet and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.