Meet Mr. Adams

Faculty Profile
by Daniel Mollenkamp

Photography by Emily Jordan

Please use Professional bio for programs and publications

David Adams is an active professional opera and concert singer who is living proof that a career in music is competitive but viable, and inspires his students to follow their musical dreams and goals with confidence, whether their specialty is performance, education, or in another field.

Coming from a family that encouraged music from an early age, David played various instruments growing up, but singing was what he found most rewarding. It has become more rewarding each year, as he’s worked extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe in the most prestigious opera houses and concert halls, including the Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall. His ever growing list of roles performed is too long for this space, and can be viewed on his website. As on opera performer, he specializes in the works of Handel, Mozart, and Rossini. On the concert stage he has performed many of the major works of Bach.

David had been singing professionally for years when the opportunity to become a teacher presented itself in the form of a friend asking for some pointers. He realized then that he had a talent for communicating concepts and explaining the same thing ten different ways. He opened up a private studio and branched out into local high schools. The vocal program at UCM was rapidly growing when he was offered a teaching position in 2009, and has grown more since his arrival. The same year, David became the Producing General Director of the Civic Opera Theatre of Kansas City, and created events such as a night of Great Opera Scenes that featured many of the area’s finest singers.

David knows that confidence in your skill is ninety percent of the battle in becoming a good singer. One must establish the right mindset to produce consistent results, and he begins building that with each of his students from the first lesson. He also stresses with his students that there’s more to singing than breathing and phonating well. Singing is simultaneously an artistic pursuit and an athletic event that requires your whole body and mind to be prepared and in alignment with one another. That kind of project necessarily takes commitment, and it means walking into rehearsal completely prepared.

David takes students outside of their comfort zone so that they may grow, and takes care while they are in this vulnerable place to make sure they keep a healthy perspective. When they’re trying out new things in his studio, there is no such thing as a “mistake.” When a student carrying a level of doubt gets up and has a simple moment of trust followed by success, David feels that real growth is on its way. Perhaps it’s because he’s experienced that moment himself over and over again, trust followed by success, and has seen the results. David Adams grew from a boy in Killeen, Texas, to an operatic tenor for audiences around the world, and a driving force for the arts of Kansas City and UCM.

Visit David Adams' personal site:

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