Meet the Faculty

David H. Malis

David H. Malis

Associate Professor, Voice and Opera

(ARSC)-Arts & Sciences


Phone: 479-575-4701

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David Malis, the first American to win the prestigious Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, began his operatic career with the San Francisco Opera, making his debut as Papageno in Die Zauberflöte. Mr. Malis made his Metropolitan Opera in the Parks debut as Belcore in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, in a production that included Luciano Pavarotti, Kathleen Battle and Giuseppe Taddei. This was quickly followed by his Metropolitan Opera mainstage debut as Marcello in La Bohème. Over the next twelve seasons, Mr. Malis’ leading roles at the Metropolitan Opera included Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos, Ned Keene in Peter Grimes, Marcello and Schaunard in La Bohème, Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus, and Papageno in Die Zauberflöte.

Mr. Malis’ acclaimed interpretation of Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff has taken him to the Teatro alla Scala, the Royal Opera at Covent Garden, the Teatro Colòn in Buenos Aires, the Welsh National Opera, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, in a command performance attended by Diana, Princess of Wales, and the Thêàtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. He has returned to San Francisco Opera to sing Marcello in La Bohème, Silvio in Pagliacci, Ping in Turandot, Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and to reprise his critically acclaimed Papageno in the David Hockney production. He was chosen by Werner Herzog to sing Wolfram in a new production of Wagner’s Tannhäuser at the newly reopened Teatro Massimo in Palermo. Mr. Malis has performed Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia over thirty times with renowned Rossini maestro Alberto Zedda in the innovative and popular production by Dario Fo, which was released on DVD by the BBC and RAI. Rossini’s Figaro also served as his debut role at the Vienna Staatsoper and the Netherlands Opera. An active recitalist, Mr. Malis has appeared in concert around the world, including New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Seattle, Hong Kong, Cardiff and Stockholm.

As a voice teacher and coach, Mr. Malis has taught at the Opera Theater of Lucca, Oberlin in Italy, and for the University of Miami in Salzburg program. For three years, he served as Assistant Professor of Voice and Co-Director of Opera Theater at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL. While teaching at UM, Mr. Malis’ deep commitment to art song repertoire led him to compile an extensive database of Italian song, and his recitals regularly include these works, as well as the greatest works of Wolf, Schubert, Schumann and Brahms.

As Opera Director and Coordinator of the Crested Butte Music Festival and the Festival de Musique de St. Barthélémy for twelve years, Mr. Malis produced, directed, cast and performed inLa Bohème, Cosi fan tutte, Le Nozze di Figaro, Die ZauberflöteCarmen, La Traviata, L’elisir d’amoreFaustDie Fledermaus, Don PasqualeThe Merry WidowThe BearMadama Butterfly,La SonnambulaGianni SchicchiIl Barbiere di Siviglia and Rigoletto. A student and protégé of one of the greatest singing actors of the twentieth century, legendary Italian bass Italo Tajo, Mr. Malis has participated in the production of opera in almost every capacity, including music direction, costume and set design, choral preparation and conducting. Mr. Malis has served as a judge for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and numerous NATS competitions, and also for the Chester Ludgin Memorial Verdi Baritone Competition in Manhattan, sharing MC and adjudication duties with Julius Rudel, Mignon Dunn and Placido Domingo.

Recent engagements include the title role in Verdi’s Falstaff with Atlanta Opera, the title role in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale in Lucca, Italy, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore with Cleveland Opera, Germont in La Traviata with Arizona Opera, and a critically acclaimed role debut as Kurwenal in a recording of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde for Titanic Records. He is currently Director of Opera and Assistant Professor of Voice at the University of Arkansas.

Opera Theatre, Art Song Repertoire

B.M., Mars Hill University
M.M., University of Cincinnati College - Conservatory of Music
Artist Diploma, University of Cincinnati College - Conservatory of Music 

International Singing Career, Opera, Orchestral Soloist, Musical Theatre
1979-Present Day

Winner- Cardiff Singer of the World Competition
George London Award Winner
Gold Medal, 1st Place - National Institute for Musical Theatre Competition
Norman Treigle Graduate Scholarship - Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music