David Walker joined Palm Beach Opera in 2015 as director of institutional advancement, a position which was created for him to oversee all areas of revenue generations based on his success managing fundraising and marketing campaigns at other arts organizations around the country, including the Glimmerglass Festival, Sarasota Opera, North Carolina Opera, Fort Worth Opera, and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2016, he was promoted to managing director, and became executive in charge when the company’s general director was away from the office.
Walker worked closely with Palm Beach Opera’s former General Director Daniel Biaggi and the board of directors on overall company strategic planning and leadership, as well as board cultivation and growth. Under his leadership, Palm Beach Opera continuously implemented best marketing and audience engagement practices resulting in a significant audience increase in both subscribers and single ticket buyers. His fundraising expertise led to the successful implementation of the Co-Producer Society, which is responsible for underwriting the company’s mainstage productions. Along with the board of directors and Biaggi, the Co-Producer Society has continuously grown contributed income in the past three years. Walker has been instrumental in securing all underwriting for both education and community engagement programs, as well as artist training programs. His keen sense of event fundraising alongside the respective gala chairs has turned the company’s galas into significant sources of contributed revenue, and resulted in continuously growing record attendance.
Walker is regularly a guest lecturer on the business of opera, and often serves on vocal competition adjudicating panels, including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions – a competition he himself won in 1998. Prior to his arts administration career, Walker had an 18-year international singing career, performing throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and Russia, with some of the most prestigious opera houses and orchestras, including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Santa Fe Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper (Munich), Salle Pleyel (Paris), Opéra national du Rhin (France), Adelaide International Festival (Australia), Handel and Haydn Society (Boston), and the National Symphony (DC). He appears on both studio and live audio and video recordings.
Walker is a certified fundraising executive (CFRE), and holds a Bachelor of Arts in industrial engineering, a Master of Music in vocal performance, a Master of Arts in arts administration, and a Master of Business Administration, both with an arts administration focus.