Verdi OTELLO (Royal Danish Opera)

“Smith’s cornered-animal Otello posed a fitting contrast to an Iago from David Kempster that was plotted with wondrous control. Kempster is the latest addition to the Royal Danish Opera’s ensemble and his presence would have justified Verdi’s original idea to title his opera after the villain. His singing was idiomatic and possessed a calm, warm authority that appeared even to compel Morandi’s roaring orchestra into complicity.’
Andrew Mellor, Opera Now (July/August 2018)


Verdi NABUCCO (Chelsea Opera Group)

“his long-breathed singing was idiomatically phrased and full-toned, not least at the very top.”
Yehuda Shapiro, Opera Magazine (August 2017)


Mascagni: CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA (Welsh National Opera)

“What heat and dynamism there was in this nun-heavy picture postcard was provided by David Kempster’s sharp-eyed Alfio… Kempster husbanded his resources carefully, delivering a tautly nuanced portrait of the calipered, bitter Tonio in Pagliacci.”
Anna Picard, The Times (May 2016)

“David Kempster handles his four personae with customary aplomb”
Rian Evans, The Guardian (May 2016)

“David Kempster [is] solid as Alfio, though for all-round excellence one must turn to Rebecca Afonwy-Jones’s butter-wouldn’t-melt Lola and Anne-Marie Owens’s fraught Mamma Lucia.”
George Hall, The Stage (May 2016)

“The baritone David Kempster showed again just what an asset he has been to the company in recent years, combining the cuckolded Alfio with some finely differentiated characterization as Tonio in Pagliacci”
Rian Evans, Opera Magazine (August 2016)


Rossini GUILLAUME TELL – Welsh National Opera

‘David Kempster, one of the best of Wales’s current splendid crop of bass baritones, made a fine, heroic figure as William Tell”
Simon Rees, bachtrack (16/09/2014)

‘David Kempster delivers a performance of great tenderness and gravitas as Tell’
Anna Picard, The Times (17/09/2014)

‘As Tell, David Kempster is touchingly humane’
Andrew Clements, The Guardian (14/09/2014)

‘As Tell, David Kempster radiated a quiet nobility, which was matched by classy, smooth singing’
Hugo Shirley, The Spectator (27/09/2014)

‘As Tell, David Kempster sang with powerful dignity’
Glyn Pursglove, Seen and Heard International (7/10/2014)

Donizetti ROBERTO DEVEREUX – Welsh National Opera

‘David Kempster and Leah-Marian Jones contributed to the intrigue with vivid, confident performances as the Duke and Duchess of Nottingham…’
Rupert Christiansen, Telegraph (3/10/13)

‘David Kempster a tour de force as Sarah’s husband…’
Rian Evans, Guardian (3/10/13)

‘David Kempster, in top-class villainous-baritone form’
Richard Morrison, Times (Oct ’13)

‘David Kempster is nothing short of magnificent as her husband the Duke…’
George Hall, The Stage (3/10/13)

‘Sara’s scenes with her husband, the powerfully sung Nottingham from David Kempster, were gripping and disturbing.’
Mike Smith, Theatre Wales (4/10/13)

Puccini  LA BOHEME – Welsh National Opera

“David Kempster as Marcello was vocally outstanding, what a tower of strength he has been for WNO in recent years. His imposing physical stature gives him advantages, but it is his capacity in creating a character and singing with exemplary tonal variety and colour that sets him out in this production”
Robert J Farr, Seen & Heard (22 October 2012)

“David Kempster’s robust Marcello…anchors the entire performance…Giselle Allen’s touching Mimì displays all the right qualities, her warm soprano contrasting effectively with that of Kate Valentine’s feisty Musetta.”
John Allison, The Telegraph (24 October 2012)

AIDA – Royal Albert Hall (2012)

“David Kempster (Amonasro) yet again proved himself the UK’s most convincing Verdi baritone”
Opera Magazine, Hugh Canning (May 2012)

OTELLO – Welsh National Opera (September 2008)

“David Kempster’s incisive Iago”
The Sunday Times, Hugh Canning (28 September 2008)

“But the surprise is David Kempster … he has blossomed into a true Verdi baritone.”
The Financial Times (, Andrew Clark (22 September 2008)

“David Kempster’s devilish Iago. Kempster towers over Roocroft and Dennis O’Neill’s Otello not just physically but vocally, to the point where he challenges the outstanding WNO chorus and Carlo Rizzi’s polished conducting for the evening’s laurels.”
The Guardian, Anthony Holden (28 September 2008)

“He sports an effective curled lip, so, as often, Iago stole the show.”
The Spectator, Michael Tanner (24 September 2008)

“David Kempster’s splendidly volatile Iago plants poisonous doubts in the mind of Dennis O’Neill’s Otello”
The Times Online (, Richard Morrison (22 September 2008)

“His Iago was held with by a firm legato and crisp diction”
The Telegraph, Rupert Christiansen (28 September 2008)

“A dramatically accomplished Iago … He dominated Otello from the start”
The Western Mail, Mike Smith (22 September 2008)

“It was excellent to have this strong voiced, dramatically accomplished performer on the Welsh stage.”
Theatre in Wales (, Mike Smith (20 September 2008)

“A powerful performance and one that convinced one of the further potential of Kempster … he became a compelling stage presence, vocally direct and achieving a plausible degree of hypnotic power in his manipulation of Otello, Roderigo and Cassio. His “Era la notte” had a thoroughly disturbing plausibility, a minor masterpiece of hushed, evocative menace. Kempster’s Iago was a definite success. His approximation to speech rhythms was, at times, very effective and throughout he was sensitive and thoughtful in his interpretation of Boito’s text.”
Music Web International (, Glyn Pursglove (September 2008)

“David Kempster’s Iago towers over Otello and completely dominates him.”
Morning Star, David Nicholson (24 September 2008)