Noted for his diverse repertoire, lyric tenor Daniel Shirley captivates audiences with a commanding stage presence and vocalism rich in color and character. He has been critically lauded for his performances of new operas, musical theater classics, and symphonic masterpieces.
Recent concert seasons have included debuts with the Bach Society of Charleston & Lancaster Symphony, and multiple appearances with the Bach Cantata Series of Duke University, the Raleigh Bach Soloists, the Carolina Philharmonic, and the PaTRAM Institute of Orthodox Music. He regularly performs in recital and conducts master classes at North Carolina universities.
A major recent project is his New Voices From Shropshire, for which Daniel has commissioned 15 American composers of diverse aesthetic and cultural backgrounds to set A.E. Housman poetry. He will perform the new song collection during the fall of 2021, with a studio recording to follow.
During 2017, Daniel debuted the role of John Little in the world premiere of We Shall Not Be Moved, a new hybrid opera by Daniel Bernard Roumain, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, and Bill T. Jones. Part of Opera Philadelphia‘s groundbreaking O17 Festival, the work was presented to great acclaim at Philadelphia’s Wilma Theater, New York City’s historic Apollo Theater, and the Opera Forward Festival of Dutch National Opera (Shirley’s European debut).
Daniel has appeared in recent years with Kentucky Opera, Austin Opera, Madison Opera, Odyssey Opera of Boston, Boston Baroque, Opera Memphis, Michigan Opera Theater, Sugar Creek Opera, Intermountain Opera Bozeman, and New York City Opera. In concert, he has appeared as a soloist with Seattle Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Carolina Philharmonic, Lexington Philharmonic, Music of the Baroque, Firebird Arts Alliance of Charlotte, and Choral Society of Durham. His 2013 Carnegie Hall debut was with Distinguished Concerts International – New York.
He is featured on two Grammy-nominated recordings: Kurt Sander’s The Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom with the PaTRAM Institute, and Boston Baroque’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria (Monteverdi), realized and conducted by Martin Pearlman.
Daniel trained in some of America’s most notable young artist and apprenticeship programs: those of Santa Fe Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Central City Opera, Opera Memphis, and Chautauqua Opera. He has been recognized in recent years by the American Traditions Competition, the William Matheus Sullivan Foundation, the Anna Sosenko Trust, the George London Foundation, and the National Society of Arts & Letters. A native of Jackson, Mississippi, he is a graduate of the Vanderbilt University Blair School of Music and the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.
He and his wife, soprano Caitlin Shirley, reside in Greenville, North Carolina, where Daniel serves as Assistant Professor of Vocal Studies and Director of Opera Theater at the ECU School of Music.