David Steffens was born in Bavaria. At the Mozarteum University Salzburg, he studied voice with Prof. Horiana Branisteanu and Lied with Prof. Wolfgang Holzmair. He was a scholar of the Episcopal Scholarship Foundation Cusanuswerk in Bonn. In 2011, he was awarded the Lilli Lehmann Medal by the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation and received the Gottlob Frick Medal for young talented singers. In addition, he attended master classes with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Ruggero Raimondi, Christa Ludwig, Thomas Hampson, Helmut Deutsch, Rudolf Piernay, Francisco Araiza and Thomas Moser.
In 2010, he made his debut at the Salzburg State Theatre as Bartolo in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, subsequently joining the International Opera Studio at Zurich Opera House. As Sarastro in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, he could be heard in the frame of the Salzburg Festival Young Singers Project in 2012. From 2012 to 2014 he was an ensemble member of the Klagenfurt State Theatre.
He subsequently joined the ensemble of the Oper Stuttgart, where he as so far appeared in roles such as Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro), Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte), Prince Gremin in Eugene Onegin and many others. As a guest, he has already appeared in opera houses such as the Semperoper Dresden, the Opéra National de Lyon, the Vienna Volksoper, the Opéra de Lausanne, the National Theatre Prague, the Teatro Verdi di Trieste, as well as Festival Baden-Baden and Schlossfestspiele Schwerin. Further appearances include the role of Osmin in Mozart’s die Entführung aus dem Serail at the Mozartwoche Salzburg and at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Benjamin Britten’s Gloriana at the Teatro Real in Madrid and a new production of Strauss’ Salome at the Salzburg Festival, conducted by Franz Welser-Möst und directed by Romeo Castellucci.
Central roles on the opera stage include Osmin (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro), Rocco (Fidelio), the Hermit and Kaspar (Der Freischütz), King Heinrich (Lohengrin) and Baron Ochs auf Lerchenau (Der Rosenkavalier).
Recent engagements of the past season include concert performances of Mozart’s Don Giovanni – both as Masetto and as Commendatore – with the Kammerorchester Basel under Giovanni Antonini, followed by performances of Der Rosenkavalier in Chemnitz and by his debut as Kaspar in Der Freischütz at the Opéra National de Strasbourg. As Commendatore, David also gave his house debut at the Semperoper Dresden under Omer Meir Wellber.
At the Salzburg Festival 2019, David could be heard in a new production of George Enescu’s Œdipe under Ingo Metzmacher, besides taking part in the revival of Romeo Castellucci’s highly acclaimed Salome production. Recent engagements in Stuttgart include the role debuts as Escamillo (Carmen) and Oroveso (Norma), in addition to The Hermit (Der Freischütz), King of Clubs | Herald in Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges, King Heinrich (Lohengrin) and Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte).
As ensemble member of Oper Stuttgart, David Steffens was supposed to appear in several productions during the season 2020/2021 including Die Zauberflöte, Don Giovanni, Don Carlo and Madama Butterfly, all of them cancelled due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic along with other projects on the concert stage, such as Verdi’s Messa da Requiem with the Würth Philharmoniker under Claudio Vandelli and ensemble recitals with the Schubertiade Hohenems and the Internationale Hugo-Wolf-Akademie in Stuttgart. In 2021, shortly before appearing as Masetto in Salzburg Festival’s new production of Don Giovanni conducted by Teodor Currentzis and directed by Romeo Castellucci, David also gave his debut at the Festival St. Gallen as Quasimodo in Franz Schmidt’s seldom-performed opera Notre Dame.
The current season will see him appear as Ochs of Lerchenau in Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier and as Fasolt in a new production of Wagner’s Das Rheingold, both under the musical direction of Cornelius Meister, further to his role debuts as Pimen in Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov and Marke in Tristan und Isolde. He also returns to Theater Chemnitz as Heinrich der Vogler in Wagner’s Lohengrin, besides taking part in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich under Yutaka Sado and in Schoenberg’s Serenade Op. 24 at Berlin’s Pierre Boulez Saal under Thomas Guggeis.
Much sought-after also on the concert stage, a selection of David Steffens’ engagements includes appearances at the Gewandhaus Leipzig, the Schubertiade Hohenems, the Herkulessaal Munich, the Malmö Symphony Hall and the Great Hall of the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation where he was invited to perform at the Centennial Jubilee Concert on the Hall’s 100th anniversary. He further appeared as soloist (Pater Profundus) in Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal under the baton of Kent Nagano, and sang the solo part in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Stuttgart Philharmonic under Marcus Bosch.
David Steffens already appeared with orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Camerata Salzburg, the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg and the Stuttgart Philharmonic, working with conductors such as Ivor Bolton, Christoph von Dohnányi, Enoch zu Guttenberg, Cornelius Meister, Zubin Metha, Ingo Metzmacher, Kent Nagano, Sir Simon Rattle, Peter Schneider, Lothar Zagrosek and Teodor Currentzis.