David Hamilton was born in Scotland where he studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. He made his Glasgow debut singing the Mozart Requiem with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and moved to Sydney in 1979.
His recent concert performances have included Bach's St John and St Matthew Passions, Magnificat and Mass in B Minor, Handel's Israel in Egypt, Dixit Dominus and Messiah, Belioz' Grand Messe des Morts, Kurt Weill's Seven Deadly Sins, Daniel Palkowski's A Trinity By Moonlight, Hayden's Creation and The Seasons, Orff's Carmina Burana, Vaughan William's Hodie and Mozart's Requiem and have met with consistent critical acclaim. In New Zealand, The Dominion wrote: "Has there, for example, ever been an Evangelist to equal that of David Hamilton?. . . (he) brought the subtlety and intensity of a fine lieder singer to the part. Blessed with a lovely high tenor voice and a consummate technique". The Wellington Evening Post has said: "Most remarkable of the soloists was David Hamilton; he sang the Evangelist with an intensity and spiritual fervour that turned it from what can sound like strenuous piety to something approaching classical opera. His words tumbled out as if he was dramatising a remarkable event of last week with a voice of wide range and power, and a particularly arresting top". Of the Berlioz Requiem, Opera Opera said; "But the real artistic surprise to me was the outstanding contribution of tenor, David Hamilton in the fiendishly high and sustainedly so, solo of the Sanctus", and of his performance on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's recording of Wesley-Smith's Boojum, Roger Covell in The Sydney Morning Herald wrote: "The singer who carried much of the burden was David Hamilton, whose performance was assured and encouraging and a focus for pleasure. Everything he did was helpful to the projection of this ingenious cantata".
His operatic work includes the title role in the Scottish Opera production of Albert Herring, Count Belfiore in Mozart's La Finta Giardiniera with the University of New South Wales, the Faerie Queen for the Song Company, Camille in The Merry Widow with the Wellington City Opera, and Ruggiero in the Sydney Conservatorium of Music's production of La Rondine.
As a member of Opera Australia in 1994 and 1995, Mr Hamilton has understudied many roles. He appeared in the lead role in the final performance of the premier Australian production of The Eighth Wonder to great critical acclaim. In October 1996, he sang Dr Caius in Falstaff for Opera Australia and has recently repeated this role with Bryn Terfel at the Sydney Opera House.
Also during 1996, he was soloist in Handel's Messiah in Wellington and, in 1997, he sang in performances of the Mozart Requiem as part of the Mostly Mozart Festival at the Sydney Opera House and appeared in Opera Australia's Oz Opera touring production of The Magic Flute, singing the role of the First Armed Man. He sang the role of Belmonte in Mozart's Il Seraglio for the University of Newcastle, performances of which The Sun Herald said: "He is probably the best Mozart tenor in Australia", was soloist on the Queensland Symphony Orchestra's regional tour of Messiah, appeared as Ulysses in Faure's Ulysses and Penelope, and in Warlock's The Curlew, (both for the University of NSW ) and in Tippet's A Child of Our Time for Sydney University Musical Society. He was to appear as Pinkerton in Regal Opera's subsequent'y cancelled Madam Butterfly in Perth.
During 1998, Mr Hamilton appeared as the tenor soloist in the Eisler/Brecht oratorio Die Massnahme at the Adelaide Festival, in Handel's Allegro, Il Penseroso ed Il Moderato with the Mark Morris Dance Group at the New Zealand International Festival of the Arts, and was soloist in Messiah for the Auckland Choral Society, in Bach's B Minor Mass for the Melbourne Symphony and sang The Evangelist in St John Passion for both the New Zealand Chamber Orchestra in Wellington and the Christchurch City Choir in Christchurch. 1999 saw performances of Messiah with the Queensland, Adelaide and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras, Mozart's Mass in C and Haydn's Nelson Mass with Sydney Philharmonia and Kodaly's Psalmus Hungaricus with Willoughby Symphony Orchestra. In 2000, he appeared in New Zealand in Bach's St Matthew Passion and Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde, in Haydn's Creation for the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, in the St. John Passion and Messiah for Sydney Philharmonia, in Handel's Ode to St. Cecilia and Elijah for Willoughby Symphony Orchestra, in Haydn's Harmoniemesse, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Phillip Glass' Symphony No. 5 for the West Australian Symphony Orchestra and The Perth Festival, in Kurt Weill's Der Lindberghflug for the Adelaide Festival, in Britten's War Requiem for Independent Classics in Melbourne, in Bach's Christmas Oratorio for the University of NSW and once again covered the Architect in The Eighth Wonder for Opera Australia. 2001 engagements included Mozart's Requiem for the TSO, Mozart's Mass in C and Handel's Messiah for the MSO, Britten's St. Nicholas' Mass and Les Illuminations for Christchurch City Choir, Elgar's Dream of Gerontius for the Auckland Choral Society, the St John Passion for The Orpheus Choir of Wellington, and the roles of Don Basilio and Don Curzio in West Australian Opera's production of The Marriage of Figaro. In 2002, he will sing Haydn's Creation with the Orpheus Choir, Wellington, Bach's St. Matthew Passion with Sydney Philharmonia, Orff's Carmina Burana with WASO, Handel's Messiah with MSO, Elgar's Dream of Gerontius with Willoughby Symphony Orchestra and Bach's Christmas Oratorio with Bach Musica NZ. Mr Hamilton will also appear in a Britten recital with the NZ Festival of the Arts and continues his association with the vocal trio Mènage é Trois.