Of his 2013 Carnegie Hall debut, the New York Concert Review noted, “Daniel Shirley’s voice soared over the large forces with strength and clarity.” The tenor continues to earn critical praise for his appearances in concert, opera, and musical theater. During the 2014-15 season he looks forward to debuting Candide and Anthony Hope (Sweeney Todd) with Madison Opera, and to more concert appearances including Carmina burana with the Alabama Symphony.
The 2013-14 season brought debuts with Michigan Opera Theater in Der Fliegende Holländer, the Pacific Symphony in Messiah, Opera Memphis in The Mikado, the Seattle Symphony in Carmina burana, and Boston Baroque in Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria.
During the 2012-13 season he debuted with Madison Opera in Acis and Galatea, Distinguished Concerts International – New York in Willcocks’ A Great and Glorious Victory (Carnegie Hall debut), New York City Opera as cover for Prologue/Quint in The Turn of the Screw, and Sugar Creek Symphony & Song in Carlisle Floyd’s Cold Sassy Tree. He sang with Chicago’s Music of the Baroque throughout the season, most notably as tenor soloist in Israel in Egypt.
Daniel’s diverse repertoire is growing to include the masterpieces of the symphonic and sacred canons. He is becoming known for his inspired interpretations of Handel oratorios and fearless singing of the Carmina burana roasting swan, and is adding the Bach Evangelists to his repertoire.
The tenor trained in some of America’s most notable young artist programs. A resident artist with Florida Grand Opera from 2010 to 2012, he performed Prunier in La Rondine and Tybalt in Roméo et Juliette, and covered Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni. His Prunier was noted for a vocal delivery “so pure, that even in the softer passages he makes a very memorable impression,” and his Tybalt for a “hot-headed, on target performance” with “pure and solid tone.” As a 2009 and 2011 Apprentice Artist with Santa Fe Opera, Daniel covered Gualtiero in Griselda and Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni. In 2008, he joined the Bonfils-Stanton Artist Training Program of Central City Opera to cover Sam Polk in Susannah. His professional debut was as Don Curzio in The Marriage of Figaro with Chautauqua Opera, where he was a Studio Artist.
Recent awards include Fifth place in the 2014 American Traditions Competition, Honorable Mention in the 2013 George London Foundation awards, and a 2012 Career Development Grant from the William Matheus Sullivan Foundation. Daniel has also been honored with awards from the Anna Sosenko Trust, the National Society of Arts and Letters, Central City Opera, the Orpheus National Vocal Competition, Chautauqua Opera, and the Dayton Opera Guild.
Recordings include the Vaughan Williams Ten Blake Songs on oboist Elizabeth Robertson’s album ‘Oboe Serenade,’ and the role of Edgar in Frédéric Chaslin’s new opera Wuthering Heights with the orchestra of the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia.
While a graduate student at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, he sang a variety of lyric roles including two significant premieres: Dino in the collegiate premiere of William Bolcom’s A Wedding, and Joe Crowell in the world premiere of Ned Rorem’s Our Town. With the university’s Pro Arte ensemble, he was honored to sing in the world premiere of John Harbison’s A Clear Midnight. He holds a Bachelor of Music from the Vanderbilt University Blair School of Music.
Daniel is a native of Jackson, Mississippi. He and his wife, soprano Caitlin Shirley, reside in Chicago.