Cornelius David (C.J) is a DC-based tenor fluent in opera, musical theatre, and everything in between. He is currently performing with the ensemble in Candide with the Washington National Opera.
Past DC credits include the ensemble in Dead Man Walking, Alcina and Don Giovanni with the Washington National Opera, Joe in Looking for Roberto Clemente (Imagination Stage), Pete Seeger in Love Songs from the Liberation Wars (The Labor Heritage Foundation), Count Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia (Loudoun Lyric Opera), the title role in Robin Hood (Victorian Lyric Opera Company), and Fenton in Falstaff (Shakespeare Opera Theatre). He has also performed as a soloist with various choral organizations, including the Loudoun Chorale, the Reston Chorale, the Saint Luke Festival Orchestra, and the Washington Master Chorale. He is currently the resident tenor section leader at St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Arlington, VA, and also sings with the ensemble at the National Cathedral and as a cantor for St. Jane Francis de Chantal Church in Bethesda, MD, and with Saint Luke Catholic Church in McLean, VA.
C.J. received a Master of Music in Opera Performance from the Longy School of Music at Bard College in Cambridge, MA, where he studied under soprano Donna Roll, in addition to working with coaches Tom Enman, Noriko Yasuda and Brian Moll. While at Longy, he appeared as Gonzalve in L'heure Espagnole (Ravel), The Young Man in The Saint of Bleecker Street (Menotti) and the First Sailor in Dido and Aeneas. He was also the winner of the Longy's Honor Competition for his performance of three songs from the musical Next to Normal. Prior to that, he received his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he studied with Dr. Valentin Lanzrein and Dr. Louise Toppin. He was also a four year member and two year music director of the UNC Clef Hangers, the university's oldest a cappella group. As music director, he was in charge of overseeing the production of the group's album The Mallard and was featured as a soloist on the tracks "Some Nights" (F.U.N.) and "The Parting Glass" (Traditional/Ed Sheeran). C.J. has appeared as a young artist with the Ohio Light Opera in Wooster, OH twice. As a young artist he performed in 6 of the 7 shows in repertoire those summers, performed in rotation throughout the summer.
When not singing, C.J. works as an academic coach with Private Prep. He specializes in test prep (ACT/SAT) and high school sciences and is a member of the company's Tutor Advisory Board, a group of tutors that provides assistance to tutors in, answering any questions they have and helping to resolve any issues that arise in the field. He is also the Subject Test Coordinator for the company, overseeing and managing all Subject Test programs and resources (SAT 2/AP exams).