David (also known as Davide) was the son of the tenor Giacomo David, with whom he studied. He made his operatic début in Siena in 1808 in Adelaide de Guesclino by Johann Simon Mayr. He is notable for the principal roles written for him by Gioachino Rossini, mostly for Domenico Barbaia's theatres in Naples:
- Narciso in Il turco in Italia (1814)
- Rodrigo in Otello (1816)
- Ricciardo in Ricciardo e Zoraide (1818)
- Oreste in Ermione (1819)
- Uberto (James IV of Scotland) in La donna del lago (1819)
- Ilo in Zelmira (1822)
David was noted for his vocal range of almost 3 octaves in performance (up to b♭′&prime). However, according to Italian sources, David was certainly able to reach up only to F₅ (and possibly to G₅ or even to A₅), but not higher. He was also famous for his ability to sing extremely florid music, although compared with his contemporary, Andrea Nozzari, his acting ability was limited.
He retired from the stage in 1839, and subsequently managed an opera company in Saint Petersburg.
- Forbes 1997, p. 1088
- Caruselli, p. 334
- Appolonia, Giorgio (2018). Il tenore rossiniano. Bergamo: LEMMA PRESS.
- Appolonia, Giorgio (1992). Le voci di Rossini. Torino: EDA.
- Caruselli, Salvatore (ed), Grande enciclopedia della musica lirica, Rome: Longanesi & C. Periodici S.p.A., Vol. II, ad nomen
- Forbes, Elizabeth (1997), "Davide [David], Giovanni", in Stanley Sadie, The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, New York: Oxford University Press ISBN 978-0-19-522186-2
- Osborne, Richard (1986). Rossini. London: Dent. ISBN 0-460-03179-1.
- Warrack, John, and Ewan West (1992). The Oxford Dictionary of Opera. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-869164-5.