Student Spotlight: Dave Govertsen

Henry Gordon

Dave Govertsen
Major: Music
Hometown: Glen Ellyn

Dave Govertsen grew up in a musical family, but while he initially set forth to play an instrument, he eventually took to singing.

The switch paid off, leading the Glen Ellyn native to a full scholarship at Northern Illinois University before embarking on a graduate program at Northwestern University. Finishing up his graduate studies in spring 2011, Govertsen began the next chapter of his career at the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago.

“This program is one of the best programs in the country and it’s an honor to be selected,” the 1999 College of DuPage graduate said. "Since I started singing at Lyric, I have had lots of opportunities both in house and with other groups in and out of Chicago. At the Lyric I sang roles in 'Magic Flute,' 'Boris Godunov,' 'Die Meistersinger von Nurmberg' and 'Werther.' "

Govertsen also sang as a soloist with the Elmhurst Symphony in Mozart's 'Requiem,' a program of Bach Cantatas with the Madison Bach Musicians, the solos in Handel's 'Messiah' with the Metropolis Chamber Orchestra, and in the North American premiere of Richard Blackford’s "Not in our Time" with the Northwestern Symphony. In summer 2012, he sang the title role in 'Don Pasquale' with his colleagues at the Ryan Center as well as the title role in 'Don Giovanni' with a local group called American Chamber Opera."

He will return to the Lyric during the 2013-2014 season to sing the Bonze in "Madama Butterfly."

Hailing from a family of trombone players, Govertsen played with COD's student jazz group, but as he continued his studies, his brother encouraged him to sing instead.

"I wasn't all that great of a trombone player and I was on the wait list for a number of schools," he said. "My brother suggested the singing and NIU gave me a full scholarship. Singing wasn't anything I ever considered before attending COD."

Govertsen played trombone with several student music groups at COD, gaining experience as he determined what career path to take.

"It was a great experience because I got to work in small group settings, whereas other colleges may have had two if not three times as many students," he said. "It was the right fit for me."

After spending so much of his life playing music, Govertsen said he's excited to be putting his craft to work.

"I've been doing music for as long as I can remember. It's exciting that I'll be working with such a high level of professionals. It's a great opportunity and I'm looking forward to starting this spring."

More about the Music program