“Tonio, tenor David Portillo, scored high marks and high notes with ease, singing with a luxuriant warm glow that seduced the ear as he bounded about the stage with abandon.” –Opera News
Texas tenor David Portillo has established a reputation as an accomplished vocalist with “honeyed, perfectly focused singing” (Chicago Tribune). The 2012-2013 season brought David’s return to the Lyric Opera of Chicago as David in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, the premiere of Jean-Jacques Rousseau with Grand Théâtre de Genève in Switzerland, his role and house debut as Percy in Anna Bolena with Minnesota Opera and Tonio in The Daughter of Regiment at Fort Worth Opera Festival followed by Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Central City Opera. The 2013-2014 season and beyond brings his Gonzalve in L’heure espagnole with the Seito-Kinen Festival in Japan, Ralph Rackstraw in HMS Pinafore with Arizona Opera, Narciso in Il turco in Italia with and Opera Angers-Nantes, a reprise of his Almaviva for his Palm Beach Opera debut, his return to Opera Company of Philadelphia as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni and his debut with Aix-en-Provence for Lurcanio in Handel’s Ariodante. Additional upcoming debuts include Washington National Opera, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, Houston Grand Opera, Glyndebourne and San Diego Opera.
In 2011, Mr. Portillo split the summer between Don Ottavio with Opera Theatre of St. Louis and Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi with the Castleton Festival in Virginia. He joined the roster of Teatro alla Scala last fall, where he covered the role of Don Ottavio. Other engagements for the 2011-2012 season included his house debut as Almaviva with Tulsa Opera, his role debut as Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Pittsburgh Opera, his role debut as Renaud in Gluck’s Armide presented by the Metropolitan Opera and Juilliard School, and his return to Opera Theatre of St. Louis as Ferrando in Cosí fan tutte. He also sang the role of Ferdinand in Thomas Ades’ The Tempest for the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Italy.
Mr. Portillo recently sang Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Pittsburgh Opera, Ferrando in Cosí fan tutte for Virginia Opera, Tonio in La fille du régiment for Dayton Opera, and returned to the Lyric Opera of Chicago to sing Trin in La Fanciulla del West and cover Hyllus in Hercules. His performance as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with Fort Worth Opera was heralded by Opera News as “passionate and fully-fleshed, not the ineffective blusterer of many productions.” That same year, he returned to Wolf Trap Opera Company as Narciso in Il turco in Italia and Francis Flute in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He also took the concert platform as soloist for Haydn’s Creation, Beethoven’s Symphony No.9, and Verdi’s Requiem for the Colorado Music Festival, Phoenix Symphony, and Elmhurst Symphony, respectively. A graduate of the Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago, he performed Gastone in La Traviata and the Sailor in Tristan und Isolde for the company. He has also covered Fenton in Falstaff, Nadir in Les pêcheurs de perles, and Conte Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia.
David is also an alumnus of both the Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera and Wolf Trap Opera in Washington, D.C. where his performances were met with public and critical acclaim. Other roles to his credit include Albert Herring, Alfredo in La traviata, Sam Kaplan in Street Scene and the Chevalier de la Force in Dialogues of the Carmelites.
A versatile recitalist, David has appeared with Steven Blier and also performed a Schwabacher Debut Recital under the auspices of the San Francisco Opera Center. In response, the San Francisco Chronicle found that “His tenor rang out clearly and brightly, his diction was exemplary, and he moved with easy assurance from the 17th century to the 20th and through realms in between.” David is the recipient of numerous prizes for his artistry, including a 2009 Shoshana Foundation Grant, 2009 American Opera Society of Chicago Award, 2009 Sullivan Foundation Encouragement Award, 2008 Winner of the Men’s Prize of the Union League of Chicago Young Adult’s Music Competition and 2009 Winner of the Bel Canto Scholarship Foundation Competition.