Film About Youngstown Opera Founder David Vosburgh to Premiere

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – A documentary film about David Vosburgh, a former opera singer and the founder of Opera Western Reserve in Youngstown, will get its premiere Nov. 9 at Stambaugh Auditorium.

“David Vosburgh: Extraordinary, Important, and Deserving” is the work of Youngstown-based filmmaker Adam Michael.

The filmmaker interviewed Vosburgh at his Massachusetts home. He also interviewed people who worked with Vosburgh over the years.

“I’ve been working on this for a year and a half,” Michael said. “I’m very excited.”

Tickets for the screening are $35 and can be purchased in advance HERE.

The 1 hour and 45 minute film starts at 7:30 p.m. and will be followed by an after-party at 9:30 p.m. Tickets for the after-party are $30 and also can be purchased at the above website.

Vosburgh cannot attend the premiere for health reasons, Michael said. However, the filmmaker filmed a greeting from Vosburgh that will be shown before the documentary screening.

Vosburgh founded Opera Western Reserve in 2004 and served as its artistic director until retiring about five years ago and moving to Massachusetts.

The opera company produced at least one performance per year since its inception, all at Stambaugh Auditorium.

Vosburgh was a Broadway actor and opera singer in his younger years who worked on New York stages for decades.

He later moved to Youngstown, where he was an opera and theater instructor at Youngstown State University and a pillar of the Valley’s arts community for two decades.

Vosburgh directed or designed more than 100 productions for opera companies, various theater groups and national touring companies.

He has performed in more than 30 operatic roles. In addition to “Evita,” he was also in the original Broadway productions of “Maggie Flynn,” “A Little Night Music” and “A Doll’s Life,” and revivals of tours of “Sweeney Todd,” “Cabaret,” “Guys and Dolls” and “Parade.”

Vosburgh also served as artistic director for the Youngstown Playhouse and, before that, the New York Lyric Opera.

He had a moment of delayed fame in 2008 when Broadway great Patti LuPone thanked him on national television during the Tony Awards broadcast while giving her acceptance speech after winning an award for her role in “Gypsy.”

Vosburgh served as her vocal coach 28 years prior, when LuPone was the star of “Evita” and he was in the chorus of the same production.

LuPone won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical in 1980 for her performance as Eva Peron in “Evita,” and she would go on to become a Broadway superstar.

In 2008, she won the Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Musical in “Gypsy.” She won a third Tony in 2019 for her role in “Company.”

Pictured at top: Filmmaker Adam Michael gives direction to David Vosburgh, seated, while shooting a documentary about him.

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