By John Shoesmith
When David John Pike steps out on-stage this month for Pacific Opera Victoria’s production of Puccini’s Tosca, he’s bringing what he feels is a unique advantage to the challenging role of Scarpia, the chief of police who gets stabbed to death in the second act. “People tell me I have a fresh but mature-sounding voice,” says the baritone in his 40s, “which may also bring some elegance to a role that can often be over-sung and harsh.”
While Pike, a native of Kingston, Ont., was involved with music in his early 20s — including voice lessons at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and two seasons performing with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir — he put aside aspirations of a singing career to concentrate on business. “At the time, I didn’t have the guts to pursue a life in music,” he says.
After earning his CA designation in Toronto in 1992, Pike took a job with Deloitte in London, England, where he also enrolled as a part-time student at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and performed with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. The next decade included stints at Ernst & Young in the UK and Luxembourg; he then rejoined Deloitte in its Swiss office as a partner. But doubts were creeping in. “I started to question my satisfaction, wondering, is this all there is?” In 2007, he left the firm to set up a management consultancy in Luxembourg, in part to spend more time singing.
The following year, Pike started to train and perform in earnest, with stints in the International Vocal Arts Institute’s program at l’Université de Montréal and the English National Opera’s Opera Works program, which led to performances with leading musical ensembles, including the Glyndebourne Festival Opera. The focus on his burgeoning music career is paying off — he now has a growing reputation as an operatic and concert soloist.
Late last year, Pike released his first solo CD, Whither must I wander? His workload is split between business and music. “Obviously it doesn’t match the salary of a partner in a Big Four firm, but I’m more fulfilled,” he says. “Sometimes I just have to pinch myself.”
This article was originally published in the April 2013 issue of CAmagzine.
[stextbox id=”info” caption=”Résumé”]1992 obtains CA designation (Ont.)
2003 makes partner, Deloitte, Switzerland
2007 opens consultancy, Luxembourg
2009 performs in La Bohème, Germany
2013 Canadian opera debut, Victoria[/stextbox]