From: San Antonio, Texas. LA Opera: Dr. Richardson in Breaking the Waves (2021; LAO On Now)
Praised by Opera News for hitting “high notes with ease, [and] singing with a luxuriant warm glow that seduced the ear as he bounded about the stage with abandon,” American tenor David Portillo has established himself as a leading classical singer of his generation.
In the COVID-shortened 2019/20 season, Mr. Portillo returned to the Metropolitan Opera for his role debut as the Steersman in a new production of The Flying Dutchman, conducted by Valery Gergiev. He also performed Tamino in The Magic Flute at both the Metropolitan Opera and Washington National Opera.
Mr. Portillo’s 2018/19 season included returns to the Metropolitan Opera for his role debut as the Chevalier de la Force in Dialogues des Carmélites, to Lyric Opera of Chicago as Arbace in Idomeneo with Sir Andrew Davis – an opera he had performed in his debut with the Teatro Real in Madrid, but as Idamante – and finally, to Oper Frankfurt and the Glyndebourne Festival as Tamino. On two separate occasions over the course of the season, Mr. Portillo returned to his hometown of San Antonio, Texas, first for his role debut as Alfredo in La Traviata with Opera San Antonio, and then for a solo orchestral program of Italian repertoire with the San Antonio Symphony and conductor Sebastian Lang-Lessing. Additional orchestral engagements included performances of Beethoven’s Mass in C Major and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel, Mozart’s Requiem with the Los Angeles Master Chorale and conductor Grant Gershon, and Orff’s Carmina Burana with DePaul University as part of the opening celebrations of the Holtschneider Performance Center. Finally, he joined the Minnesota Orchestra for performances of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, the New York Choral Society for Tippett’s A Child of our Time at Carnegie Hall, the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis for Handel’s Messiah, and the El Paso Choral Society for performances of Verdi’s Requiem.
Past operatic highlights include appearances at the Metropolitan Opera (Eduardo in Thomas Adès’ The Exterminating Angel, Camille de Rosillon in The Merry Widow, Count Almaviva in The Barber of Seville, and Jacquino in Fidelio), Lyric Opera of Chicago (David in Die Meistersinger, Trin in The Girl of the Golden West, and Andres in Wozzeck), Houston Grand Opera (Count Almaviva and Tamino), Opera Australia (Ferrando in Così fan tutte), Washington National Opera (Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola), Metropolitan Opera/Juilliard Opera (Renaud in Lully’s Armide), Opera Philadelphia (Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni), Glyndebourne Festival (David), Opera Theatre of St. Louis (Don Ottavio and Ferrando), Théâtre des Champs-Élysées (Pedrillo in The Abduction from the Seraglio), Opera Philadelphia (Dr. Richardson in Missy Mazzoli’s Breaking the Waves), Pittsburgh Opera (Belmonte in The Abduction from the Seraglio and Count Almaviva), San Diego Opera (Don Ramiro), Dallas Opera (Don Ottavio), Arizona Opera (Ralph Rackstraw in Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore and Tonio), Palm Beach Opera (Count Almaviva and Ernesto in Don Pasquale), the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Italy (Ferdinand in Adès’ The Tempest), and the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan (Gonzalve in Ravel’s L’heure espagnole). Mr. Portillo has also made important European debuts in recent seasons, including at the Wiener Staatsoper (Count Almaviva), Dutch National Opera (Pedrillo), Oper Frankfurt (Tamino), Deutsche Oper Berlin (Count Libenskof in Il viaggio a Riems), The English Concert (Lurcanio in Ariodante), Festival d’Aix-en-Provence (Pedrillo and Lurcanio), Salzburg Festival (Don Gaspar in Donizetti’s La Favorite), and Opera Angers-Nantes (Narciso in Il turco in Italia).
In concert, Mr. Portillo has performed Mozart’s Requiem with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl, under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel; Verdi’s Requiem with the Phoenix Symphony; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and Haydn’s Creation with the Colorado Music Festival; Messiah with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, and Richmond Symphony; as the tenor soloist in Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri with the Netherlands Radio Orchestra; and as Tebaldo in concert performances of I Capuleti e i Montecchi with Washington Concert Opera.
Mr. Portillo is an alumnus of the Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera, and Wolf Trap Opera in Vienna, Virginia.