David Castillo almost became a dentist.
A New Orleans native, Castillo grew up surrounded by music as part of the culture in his daily life. Singing in his youth choir and playing the trumpet, Castillo developed a love for all types of music.
However, music was something “I just did…I didn’t live it,” he said, and “I explored a few different things, like dentistry.”
A collegiate mentor opened his eyes and “he changed the way I saw music and living through it everyday,” Castillo said.
Since receiving his bachelor’s degree in music from Loyola University in New Orleans, Castillo’s chosen career path has been rewarded. His list of honors includes finishing as a finalist at the 2011 Metropolitan Opera National Council Regional, and the 2010 National in Classical Singer’s University Competition.
Most recently, Castillo was the 2012 Encouragement Award recipient from the Palm Springs Opera Guild Voice competition.
Palm Springs Opera Guild’s Voice competition is a prestigious West Coast event giving young opera artists the chance to further their careers with scholarship, exposure, and live performances.
More than 100 young singers were auditioned and 10 finalists were selected as Winners of the Voice Competition. While not making the top 10, Castillo’s Encouragement award provided another kind of breakthrough. Sponsored by Metropolitan Opera singer Donald Osborne and his partner Frank Garofolo, the Encouragement Award scholarship gives Castillo recognition as a promising future Palm Springs Opera Guild Vocal Competition winner.
“David is a very serious, excellent musician,” said Osborne, a distinguished baritone himself. “He is an intelligent performer that has the unique talent to go beyond his beautiful voice to deliver a composer’s intent. David will grow to be an artist.”
Castillo has been invited to back to Palm Springs to perform at Sunday's (April 7) 15th annual “Opera in the Park”. Hosted by the Guild, this noted cultural event will showcase a variety of talented artists featuring renowned arias accompanied by a live orchestra.
“Performing for the Guild again is such an honor and the chance to perform with a live orchestra is a great opportunity,” Castillo said. “I don’t want people to just be impressed with my voice. I want to engage people, to entertain them, and to give them a great night out.”
Now studying at USC, Castillo continues to perform throughout the Southern California area. To find out where, visit his website.
Music lovers can participate in the “Opera in the Park” free outdoor concert from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday (April 7) at Sunrise Park (Ramon Road and Sunrise Way) in Palm Springs. For concert information, visit www.palmspringsoperaguild.org or phone (760) 325-6106.