For operatic pop tenor David Miller, returning to Colorado is a homecoming.
Although he no longer calls Littleton his hometown, the 6-foot-3-inch international singing sensation still carries with him “warm thoughts and fond memories” of his days here in the Centennial State.
Now performing with Il Divo, the multinational “popera” vocal group created by reality television star Simon Cowell, Miller says just about everything that’s happened in his life so far has been on purpose — including dumping the trombone and enrolling in choir simply because he thought he could breeze through the class with ease.
“I was as freshman and took choir as an elective,” said Miller in a July 31 phone interview. “Hey, I was already singing with the Colorado Children’s Chorale, so I already knew I could hold a pitch and thought, ‘yeah, this’ll be an easy A.’ ”
But enter Heritage High School teacher Russell Hilloch.
“He really took an interest in my voice,” said Miller of his friend and former chior teacher. “And he kept telling me the school needed men for the musical and I should auditionon, so finally I gave in and auditioned and was awarded the part of Rooster in ‘Annie.’”
As more musical roles were awarded, the man with the bold new voice began to see a fit.
And so did Hilloch, who Miller said encouraged him to explore opera.
“It wasn’t like he forced it on me,” said Miller. “He introduced it to me in a kind way, simply saying ‘you have a strong voice, and here are some others who have a strong voice, too…and if you like that, perhaps you might like this.’ ”
Miller said became so interested in music that grades in other subjects began to suffer and now jokes that he had to go in to music because his grades in other subjects pretty much “left him no other choice.”
Miller graduated from Heritage High School in 1991 and went on to study vocal performance and opera at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio.
“Everyone and everything in my life has been a teacher in some way,” surmised the 39-year-old Miller of his success. “Whether it’s been about life, or love or experience, I am eternally grateful to everyone…even to those who bullied me in high school, I’m grateful. If it hadn’t been for them, perhaps I wouldn’t have developed such a such a great resolve for life.”
Miller, along with French pop singer Sébastien Izambard, Spanish baritone Carlos Marín, and Swiss tenor Urs Bühler, will perform live at the Wells Fargo Theater in Denver Aug. 18 and 19 to promote the foursome’s new Wicked Game album. In addition to the title track, other highlights include a rendering of Roy Orbison’s ‘Crying’ and a version of Samuel Barber’s ‘Adagio for Strings.’
For ticket and tour information visit www.ildivo.com