Of David Neely’s recent performances of DEAD MAN WALKING, Opera Today wrote “Conductor David Neely led an immaculate reading of this challenging score” and Opera News praised his “superb traversal of the Heggie.” Of his 2012 naming as Music Director and Principal Conductor of Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera News wrote, “The happy news of David Neely’s appointment as DMMO’s first-ever music director portends some exciting operatic growth at Des Moines in years to come.”
David Neely’s international conducting career encompases a span of twenty-five years during which he has led hundreds of performances in opera, operetta, musical theater, ballet, and concert. At home in a wide span of settings and styles, Mr. Neely is known for his polished, expressive performances. Significant projects include the American premiere of Robert Orledge’s completion of Debussy’s unfinished opera THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER and the German premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s THE SILVER TASSIE. Orchestras/Opera houses he has appeared with include Dortmund, Saarbrücken, Coburg, Bonn, Bochum, St. Gallen, Bielefeld, Kaiserslautern, Halle, Bregenz, Bochum, Eutin, Kuala Lumpur, Des Moines, and Sarasota.
David Neely is Music Director and Principal Conductor of Des Moines Metro Opera. He is also an active educator, and currently Director of Orchestral Activities and head of the orchestral conducting program at the University of Kansas. He recently conducted at Roosevelt University and has appeared numerous times as a guest conductor for both orchestral concerts and opera at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Prior to his appointment in Kansas, he was Music Director of the Butler Opera Center at the University of Texas (Austin).
He holds degrees in Piano Performance and Orchestral Conducting from Indiana University, where his teachers included Leonard Hokanson and Zadel Skolovsky (piano), and Thomas Baldner and Bryan Balkwill (conducting). He was also a student of Gerhard Samuel Gerhard at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, where he conducted his first operas: Tippet’s THE KNOT GARDEN and Janacek’s THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN