David Holley was appointed as the Artistic Director of Greensboro Opera in June 2013 and promoted to General and Artistic Director in March of 2018. The Director of Opera at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro since 1992, David has stage directed throughout the United States, including eight years as the Resident Stage Director at the Brevard Music Festival. In addition to Greensboro Opera mainstage productions, his directing credits include engagements with the Pensacola Opera, Opera Roanoke, Baylor University, Furman University, and the annual Eastern Music Festival/Greensboro Opera collaborations. In 2009, he produced and directed and wrote the libretto for the world premiere of Picnic, an opera by prominent American composer Libby Larsen, commissioned by the UNCG School of Music. Mr. Holley was President of the National Opera Association from 2014 – 2016.
His UNCG productions have consistently won national recognition, including seven first place and five second place awards in the National Opera Association’s annual Opera Production Competition. The UNCG Opera Theatre productions have also been named as a finalist five times in the past six years in The American Prize Competition, winning second place for 2019’s Falstaff for which Mr. Holley was also awarded second place in the Charles Nelson Reilly prize in opera directing. In 2005, four audio excerpts from UNCG’s North Carolina premier production of Adamo’s Little Women (which Mr. Holley conducted) were released and distributed to opera companies world-wide on “Thirty New Operas,” a CD sampler produced by G. Schirmer, Inc.
Mr. Holley has appeared throughout the US and Canada in a diversity of leading lyric tenor roles including Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Don José in Carmen, Tamino in The Magic Flute and the title roles in The Tales of Hoffmann and Roméo and Juliette. Notable engagements have included Cavaradossi opposite Angela Brown’s Tosca, Don José with Luretta Bybee and Herbert Perry (directed by David Morelock), as well as Pinkerton with Nikki Li Hartliep. Reviewing his performance in Wiener Blut, The American Record Guide said, “tenor David Holley as the Count with the roving eye was ringing, wide-ranging, hale and hearty: a vivid characterization,” and in the title role in Der Vogelhändler, “a singing and acting delight.” Opera News has hailed him as “…that rare find, a tall tenor who can act.”