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David Hobson (born 1960 in Ballaratmarker, Victoriamarker, Australia), is an Australian opera singer.


Hobson began as a singer and bass guitarist with rock bands while studying at The University of Melbournemarker. After his voice was heard on a demonstration tape of Macbeth (see below) he was invited to join the Victoria State Opera, understudying the role of Frederic in the VSO's Joseph Papp (Broadway) version of The Pirates of Penzance in 1986.This led to him becoming a member of the Company's Young Artists Programme, and making his debut as Rodolfo in a Victorian country tour production of La bohème in 1987. In 1988 he made his debut with The Australian Opera (now Opera Australia) when he created the role of Lawrence in the world premiere of Brian Howard's opera Whitsunday.

He is also the composer of Macbeth (a 1985 music theatre piece), Remembering Rosie (2001 chamber opera), The Loch Ard Suite (for the 2002 light/sound installation Shipwrecked at Warrnambool, Victoriamarker) and the award-winning 2004 orchestral score for the Australian film One Perfect Day, as well as a number of songs including Inside This Room and the title song for One Perfect Day.

In 1990 he reprised the role of Rodolfo in a new production of La bohème for The Australian Opera, directed by a new young director from NIDA, Baz Luhrmann; this went on to become one of the Company's most successful productions. It was filmed during its 1993 return season and broadcast on ABC TVmarker several times. Released on VHS in 1994, it was to become the first opera available on DVD (1998) and continues to be a best seller worldwide.

Hobson's Gilbert and Sullivan roles with Opera Australia, include "Nanki-Poo" in The Mikado, "Marco Palmieri" in The Gondoliers, "Ralph Rackstraw" in HMS Pinafore and "The Defendant" in Trial by Jury.

Hobson reprised the role of "Frederic" in the record-breaking Opera Australia production of The Pirates of Penzance with seasons during 2006 in Sydneymarker at the Sydney Opera Housemarker, in Canberramarker, and in Brisbanemarker at the Lyric Theatre, Queensland Performing Arts Centremarker. The national tour continued in 2007, with seasons in Adelaidemarker and Melbournemarker, making a total of 100 performances in ten months.

His Mozart roles include "Ferrando" in Così fan tutte, "Don Ottavio" in Don Giovanni, "Tamino" in The Magic Flute and "Belmonte" in The Abduction from the Seraglio.

His Rossini roles include "Lindoro" in L'Italiana in Algeri, "Ramiro" in La Cenerentola, "Count Almaviva" in The Barber of Seville, "Dorvil" in La scala di seta and "Florville" in Il Signor Bruschino.

Many other roles have included "Ernesto" in Don Pasquale (Gaetano Donizetti), "Nadir" in The Pearl Fishers (Georges Bizet), and a highly-acclaimed "Orphée" in Orphée et Eurydice, (the rarely-performed 1774 Paris version for tenor) by Christoph Willibald Gluck.

In 2008 he made his role debut as "Nemorino" in Donizetti's The Elixir of Love with the Victorian Opera , and created several roles in their World Premiere season of Through the Looking Glass by Alan John.

Hobson also created the role of the "Chevalier de Danceny" in the San Francisco Opera World Premiere of The Dangerous Liaisons by Conrad Susa, as well as "The Architect" in The Eighth Wonder by Alan John and "Michael Chamberlain" in Lindy by Moya Henderson for Opera Australia.

In 2006 he sang the title role in a Perth International Arts Festival concert performance of Candide by Leonard Bernstein and received rave reviews. Just weeks later he had the honour of singing before HM The Queen and many other distinguished guests, at a State Dinner in Canberramarker.

Several of Hobson's operatic performances are available on DVD, and his CD albums include Inside This Room (a collaboration with David Hirschfelder), French and Italian Arias, Handel Arias, Cinema Paradiso (film songs), David Hobson — The Live Album (a retrospective), Tenor and Baritone (with Anthony Warlow), Presenting David Hobson (a compilation drawn from earlier albums), The Exquisite Hour (a collection of French Art songs) and The Promise (his arrangements of an eclectic selection of songs from musicals, pop, etc., and two of his own compositions), which achieved Gold status within three weeks of release in November 2007. His 2008 album, A Little Closer — covers of classic pop songs, and two more of his compositions — was released on October 4.

Hobson is a much sought-after concert artist, frequently appearing in Musica Viva recitals, and oratorios such as Messiah , and Elijah (Felix Mendelssohn), as well as opera galas, recitals and solo concerts, displaying both his extensive classical and lighter repertoires. Since 1991 he has been a regular performer at the outdoor Christmas concerts in either Sydney (Carols in the Domain) or Melbourne (Carols by Candlelight) and, more recently, has appeared regularly in Christmas at the House at the Sydney Opera Housemarker. In February 2008 he made his debut at the prestigious Leeuwin Concerts in Margaret River, Western Australiamarker with leading soprano Yvonne Kenny,and in March returned to Mildura, Victoriamarker with another regular partner Marina Prior to sing at the Opera by the Lock. Working around his opera, recording and TV commitments, Hobson also performed a series of concerts between April and September, appearing in Melbourne and regional Victoria and, marking the release of his new A Little Closer CD, performed in two lavish concerts in the Sydney Opera Housemarker Concert Hall, on November 21 and 23.

Hobson and leading bass baritone Teddy Tahu Rhodes' new CD You'll Never Walk Alone was released in February (2009), followed in March by an extensive Australian recital tour, which fulfilled its promise of being one of the outstanding musical events of the year, particularly for opera lovers . One of the recitals was in Hobart, Tasmaniamarker, and a few weeks later Hobson returned for concerts with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra in both Hobart and Launcestonmarker.

Much of the second half of 2009 was occupied with touring for Musica Viva, while December will be devoted to another performance of Messiah with the venerable Royal Melbourne Philharmonic (established 1853) at Melbourne Town Hall and a season of Christmas at the House in the Sydney Opera Housemarker Concert Hall.

Hobson's 2010 schedule will begin with a return to Opera in the Alps at Beechworth, Victoriamarker, with Marina Prior, and continue with a reprise performance in the title role of Candide for the Sydney Festival concert presentation of Opera in the Domain (both in January); another recital with Teddy Tahu Rhodes in Adelaide (March); and the principal role of "Eisenstein" —which he last performed in 2000— in the Opera Australia production of the Strauss operetta Fledermaus at the State Theatremarker, Melbourne Arts Centremarker, during May. His latest CD —featuring songs of Celtic origin— will also be released early in the year.

Hobson was mentor to model and TV host Erika Heynatz when they won the Seven Network reality singing show, It Takes Two in 2006, and returned in the 2007 season to partner celebrity Mimi Macpherson. In late 2007 Hobson appeared in Dancing With the Stars Series 7, with he and his mentor, Karina Schembri, finishing in third place. In 2008 he resumed his more familiar role of mentor to win It Takes Two Series 3, with Julia Morris.

At the end of March 2008, Musica Viva Australia announced Hobson's appointment as the Musica Viva in Schools Ambassador for a programme to raise an awareness of the importance of music education in Australian schools.

Awards and nominations

  • The Dame Joan Sutherland Scholarship 1988
  • Sydney Theatre Critics Award for roles of "Rodolfo" and "Orphée" 1993
  • Operatic Performer of the Year (Mo Awards) 1994
  • The Melbourne Age Performing Arts Award for role of "Orphée" 1994
  • ARIA (The Australian Record Industry Association) Award for Best Music Video: Now Until the Break of Day 1998
  • ARIA Award Nomination, Best Classical Recording ~ Handel Arias 2002
  • The Handel Society International Recording Prize Nomination ~ Handel Arias 2003
  • AFI (Australian Film Institute), APRA (Australian Performing Rights Association), Inside Film Awards Nominations, and the Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Best Music Score, One Perfect Day 2004
  • Nominee in the 2008 Mo Awards (Classical/Opera Performer category)
  • Nominee in the 2009 Mo Awards (Classical/Opera Performer category)
  • ARIA Fine Arts Award Nomination, Best Classical Album, You'll Never Walk Alone 2009


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