At the age of 27, Australian-born David Campbell is already gathering the sort of praise and international attention that is marking him as one of the most exciting young entertainers in years. Critics are unanimous in the belief that this young singer/actor is at the beginning of a monumental career. Stephen Holden in The New York Times says that Campbell "oozes star quality" and that "occasionally a meteor appears." Andrew Velez in Time Out New York raves that David has "ignited the kind of excited buzz not heard since an unknown Streisand burst onto the scene in the village boîtes of the 1960s."
The son of Australian rock star Jimmy Barnes, David has quickly amassed his own remarkable list of credits. His second CD Taking the Wheel was released on Philips, a division of PolyGram, in September, 1997. His debut CD Yesterday is Now, also on Philips, was released earlier that year. David's Australian tour in the winter of 1997 was a complete sell-out as were two month-long engagements that year at the New York club Eighty Eight's. He is the recipient of the 1998 Backstage Bistro Award for Outstanding Achievement. The Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs nominated him for the MAC Award for 1997 Male New York Debut and 1998 & 1999 Major Male Vocalist. Other US appearances have included Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Los Angeles. David headlined two exclusive three-week engagements at New York City's premier nightspot Rainbow & Stars in 1997 and 1998, becoming the youngest performer to ever appear there. Most recently, he appeared at the Alcazar Theater in San Francisco in a joint concert with Andrea Marcovicci. Recent New York appearances include a Carnegie Hall debut as guest artist with The New York Pops Orchestra and a performance at Symphony Space celebrating the 50th anniversary of Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific. He also appeared at Carnegie Hall in A Tribute to Comden & Green. With songwriter John Bucchino, Mr. Campbell performed a series of sold out concerts at Joe's Pub at the Public Theater in January 1999. They took this show to Sydney and Melbourne in February 1999. As a solo artist, he has performed many times throughout Australia with his one-man cabaret and musical shows Nowadays, A Kid Inside, Yesterday Is Now, and Taking the Wheel.
Campbell is no stranger to the theatre. Having just completed a reading of the upcoming Broadway musical "Thoroughly Modern Millie," playing the role of Jimmy opposite the Millie of Kristin Chenoweth, Mr. Campbell will next portray the lead role in Stephen Sondheim's first musical "Saturday Night," which will open in New York in February 2000. He appeared in the leading role of Valentine in Babes In Arms in City Center's Encores! series and also played the title role in a workshop production of the new Broadway-bound musical Don Juan de Marco. Last year David won the prestigious Mo Award (Australia's equivalent to the Tony Award) as Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical for his role as Marius in the tenth anniversary production of Les Miserables in Sydney, Australia. He was nominated for the 1995 Mo Award as Best Musical Theatre Performer for his leading role in the Australian hit Only Heaven Knows. Other Australian theatre credits include Away, Dags, Relative Merits, Three Winters Green, and the Australian premiere of Terrence McNally's Tony Award-winning play Love! Valour! Compassion!
In February 1998, he performed two sold out concerts at the Theatre Royal in Sydney, the same theatre in which "Les Miz" was playing. On June 7 & 8, 1998 he appeared in a special evening in London entitled Hey, Mr. Producer: The Musical World of Cameron Mackintosh, a Royal Benefit performance honoring the legendary producer's musicals. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of England and H.R.H. Prince Philip were in attendance. This special performance aired as a PBS television special and a double CD has been released.
He has appeared numerous times on television in Australia, including a profile on 60 Minutes. U. S. television appearances include PBS's The Charlie Rose Show , Hey, Mr. Producer and the WNET (NY's PBS television station) special Cabaret Thirteen, hosted by Michael Feinstein.
David is the recipient of the 1999 Young Australian of the Year Award (Arts category); the 1993 Young Achiever's Award and an Australia Day Citation for his contribution to youth arts. After a devastating fire, the Ross Smith High School, which he attended as a teenager, recently built a new performing arts wing and in June 1998 dedicated it The David Campbell Performing Arts Wing.
He is trained in singing by Don Grayden and in acting by Paul Eiseman.
The Old Bio
David was born in Adelaide on the 6th August 1973. He began working professionally in Australia in 1993 after extensive training and performance work with the South Australian Youth Theatre Company and the Highlands Youth Theatre Company. During this time, he won a Young Achiever's Award citation for his work with the Highlands Youth Theatre for his performance in "Butterflies are Free" and an Australia Day Award for contribution to youth arts. David made his first major splash in Sydney by creating the role of Clay in the hit Australian play "Relative Merits" first at the Stables Theatre, then on a national tour. This was followed by roles with the Sydney Theatre Company in "Away", the Ensemble theatre in "Dags", "Three Winters Green" (Stables Theatre), "G.P." (A.B.C. TV) and his first major singing performances in the musical cabaret show "Nowadays".
David's major breakthrough performance was in the highly lauded revival of Alex Harding's musical "Only Heaven Knows" first at the Stables, then at the Sydney Opera House. For his role as Tim in this musical David was nominated for a MO award for "Best Musical Theatre Performance of the Year". Following this, David began a series of hit cabaret shows in Sydney at the Tilbury and on various national tours. In 1995, David gained much attention for his work in the Barbara Cook Masterclass as part of the Melbourne International Theatre Festival, a performance which eventually led to being invited to perform in New York. In 1996, David won acclaim for his role as Bobby in the Australian premiere of the Tony award winning "Love! Valour! Compassion!" and recorded his first CD "Yesterday is Now", which was the title of the cabaret show he played at the Tilbury in Sydney, the Comedy Club in Melbourne and a national tour to Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra.
Late 1996, David travelled to New York to perform in the New York Cabaret Convention which led to a series of performances at the cabaret venue Eighty Eights. The success of these performances led to much American critical attention for David, with Time Out magazine hailing him as "the most important vocal performer to hit the scene since Streisand thirty years ago". Similar critical acclaim followed from the New York Post, the New York Observer, the New Jersey Record and most especially from Andrea Marcovicci who invited him to perform a song with her during her sold out season at the Algonquin Hotel. Subsequently David's season at Eighty Eights was extended and sold out and he returned to New York in mid April 1997 for more performances at that venue. David was nominated for two MAC awards (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs) for "Outstanding New York Cabaret Debut". David has also performed at the Skylight Room, Don't Tell Mama, Catch a Rising Star, the Pierre Hotel and the Friars Club.
David's New York triumph was the subject of a special news report on both Channel 9 and Channel 7.
After returning to Australia, David sold out seasons at the School of Arts Cabaret Cafe in Canberra, Festival Club in Sydney, Footbridge Theatre in Sydney and Wynella Gardens in Kurrajong, Sydney. David has been a guest artist on The Midday Show and Monday to Friday and has been the subject of a special career update on A Current Affair.
David returned to New York in April, 1997 under the careful guidance of his manager/director Les Solomon and his US agents, the William Morris Agency. While over there, David performed again at Eighty Eights, and also a season at the Algonquin, the leading American nitery.
During mid 1997, while in Sydney, he had the pleasure to record his second solo CD, Taking the Wheel, available in both Australia and the USA and also performed a sold-out Australian national tour. The same year he returned to the USA for the New York Cabaret Convention and performed in San Fransisco, Los Angeles and again at Eighty Eights in New York. The Convention led to three weeks of shows at the famous Rainbows & Stars room, New York, where he set a new record as being the youngest performer ever to headline there. In honour of the event, his father, Jimmy Barnes, flew over and surprised him on the night.
During this time in the USA, he appeared on PBS Channel 13's Cabaret 13 with Michael Feinstein and Ruth Brown. David also appeared at the Cinegrill at the Hollywood Roosevelt for A Tribute to Stephen Schwartz.
29th November, 1997 saw the return of the 10th Anniversary season of Les Miserables in Sydney, in which David is playing the role of Marius. He will play this role until the 13th June, 1998.
On February 12 1998, David won an OUTSTANDING VOCALIST award at the 1998 BACK STAGE BISTRO AWARDS (New York) for outstanding achievement in cabaret. Barbara Cook accepted the award on his behalf.
David was nominated for the 1998 MO Awards as the Australian Show Business Ambassador of the Year! and also for the Best Featured Actor in a Musical for Les Miserables. On 23 June, 1998 at the awards ceremony it was announced that David won the Best Featured Actor in a Musical Award. CONGRATULATIONS David on a mighty fine effort.
David continues his American Tour in late 1998 to sell-out audiences.......during which he became engaged to Les Miserables co-star Natalie Mendoza and he also flew home to sing with his father Jimmy Barnes at the Sydney NRL Grand Final in September 1998.