David Portillo
Tenor

“David Portillo’s sweet and elegant Lurcanio was a highlight of the evening.” (Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, May 2017)

Contacts

Ian Stones +44 (0)20 3725 9104
Georgina Wheatley +44 (0)20 3725 9185

Biography

Praised for his impeccable clarity and beautiful tone, American tenor David Portillo is emerging as a major lyric talent and looks set for an important operatic and concert career on both sides of the Atlantic. 

After making his debut at the Wiener Staatsoper in 2014 as Conte Almaviva (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Portillo went on to make debuts at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence as Lurcanio (Ariodante), and then at the 2014 Salzburger Festspiele in concert performances of La favorite. He was invited back to Aix for Pedrillo in Martin Kušej’s new production of Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and reprised the role both at Théatre des Champs-Élysées and for his debut at Dutch National Opera, all under Jérémie Rhorer. 

Praised for his impeccable clarity and beautiful tone, American tenor David Portillo is emerging as a major lyric talent and looks set for an important operatic and concert career on both sides of the Atlantic. 

After making his debut at the Wiener Staatsoper in 2014 as Conte Almaviva (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Portillo went on to make debuts at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence as Lurcanio (Ariodante), and then at the 2014 Salzburger Festspiele in concert performances of La favorite. He was invited back to Aix for Pedrillo in Martin Kušej’s new production of Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and reprised the role both at Théatre des Champs-Élysées and for his debut at Dutch National Opera, all under Jérémie Rhorer. 

Following his debut at Oper Frankfurt last season as Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), David makes further debuts in Germany: at Deutsche Oper Berlin as Conte di Libenskof (Il viaggio a Reims) in Jan Bosse’s new production under Giacomo Sagripanti, and at Bayerische Staatsoper as Pasquale (Orlando Paladino) in Axel Ranisch’s new production under Ivor Bolton. In the US this season, David Portillo returns to The Metropolitan Opera as Eduardo in Thomas Adès’ The Exterminating Angel, and for his first Camille (Die lustige Witwe), makes his debut at Dallas Opera as Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) and returns to Houston as Almaviva under Emmanuel Villaume.

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Contacts

Ian Stones +44 (0)20 3725 9104
Georgina Wheatley +44 (0)20 3725 9185

Reviews

“David Portillo’s light, flexible tenor was well suited to the ambiguous role of Ariodante’s brother Lurcanio.” (Hugh Canning, Opera Magazine, July 2017)

“Portillo impressed in Act 2’s revenge aria ‘Il tuo sangue’, in which the tenor’s vocal athleticism served him well in passages of florid anger” (Opera Today, May 2017)

“David Portillo sang Lurcanio with a stylish grace that marked him out as a young tenor to watch.” (Financial Times, May 2017)

“David Portillo’s light, flexible tenor was well suited to the ambiguous role of Ariodante’s brother Lurcanio.” (Hugh Canning, Opera Magazine, July 2017)

“Portillo impressed in Act 2’s revenge aria ‘Il tuo sangue’, in which the tenor’s vocal athleticism served him well in passages of florid anger” (Opera Today, May 2017)

“David Portillo sang Lurcanio with a stylish grace that marked him out as a young tenor to watch.” (Financial Times, May 2017)

“David Portillo’s stylish, sweet-toned, technically flawless Lurcanio.” (The Times, May 2017)

“it was American tenor David Portillo who was the dark horse. The role of Lurcanio is a fairly thankless collage of pretty arias and incidental emotion, but his sweet-toned simplicity and unexpectedly exciting upper register turned his romantic sub-plot into something altogether more interesting.” (Arts Desk, May 2017) 

“the sweet-voiced tenor David Portillo, as Ariodante’s devoted brother, was excellent.” (Anthony Tommasini, NY Times, May 2017)

“Tenor David Portillo was exemplary as Belmonte’s servant Pedrillo, with flexible legato and clarion top notes.” (Bachtrack, January 2017)

“David Portillo, as Ramiro, was a princely tenor with bright and supple tone. He was plaintive in the throes of love, formidable when threatening punishment, and hilarious in the duet “Zitto, zitto; piano, piano,” sneaking from tree to tree or crawling across the stage with his valet, Dandini.” (San Diego Union Tribune, October 2016)

“It was wonderful to hear this score performed without the usual cuts, giving Portillo more opportunity to display golden tone and silken legato as Ferrando.” (Opera Magazine, November 2016)

“Of a more than capable cast, only the Pedrillo (David Portillo, excellently fresh-voiced and free-spirited) and Osmin…strike me as truly exceptional.” (Opera Magazine, October 2016)

“Tenor David Portillo as Ferrando has that golden clarity of sound without force, giving delicious edge to his mock-heroic love music towards Fiordiligi in Act II.” (Sydney Morning Herald, July 2016) 

“Making his Australian debut as Ferrando, American singer David Portillo has a lovely lyric tenor with a warm tone, a ringing clarity and a beautiful, smooth legato, singing the beautiful aria ‘Un aura amorosa’ with heartfelt passion.” (Limelight, July 2016)

“American singer David Portillo made an impressive Australian debut as Dorabella’s fiancé Ferrando, his warm and clear tenor handling the high tessitura of the role with aplomb.” (Daily Telegraph, July 2016)

“The young Texan tenor David Portillo, also in his Sussex debut, was a winning David, youthfully cocky in his tutelage of Walther” (Opera Magazine, July 2016)

“for stage energy and presence, [the leading duo] were comprehensively outpointed by David Portillo’s David” (Andrew Clements, The Guardian, June 2016)

“David Portillo makes David eager, earnest and appealing.” (Richard Morrison, The Times, June 2016)

“David Portillo’s radiant David, he’s the pick of the supporting cast.” (Arts Desk, June 2016)

“Much more vivid were David Portillo and [his Magdalene] – just about perfection as that most unlikely of operatic couples…with the sweet-toned puppyish Portillo managing to enliven even the interminable recital of the Masters’ modes in the first act.” (Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, June 2016)

“David Portillo’s lively David.” (Richard Fairman, Financial Times, June 2016)

“David Portillo’s agile and sweetly sung apprentice David deservedly steals the show” (The Independent, June 2016)

“David Portillo was the dulcet-voiced Ernesto. Highly impressive two seasons ago in a Palm Beach Barber of Seville and recently with a recital of Spanish song in Miami, this fine lyric tenor goes from strength to strength. He brought aching sadness to a meltingly beautiful “Ma fa il destino” and phrased “Comé gentil” with grace. Portillo’s top range was free and unrestricted and he blended wonderfully in duet with [Norina]. Displaying unflagging strength and momentum throughout the three acts, Portillo is the model of a first-rate bel canto tenor.” (South Florida Classical Review, February 2016) 

“David Portillo as Ernesto was an ardent suit, at first in despair at what he believed to be the loss of Norina but then a willing co-conspirator. His serenade to Norina was gorgeous, and his voice glowed warmly in the love-duet.” (Classical Source, February 2016)

“David Portillo delivers an exciting debut as Almaviva, creating a dashing and ardent wooer and handling the complicated runs of his two big arias with ease.” (Huffington Post, December 2015)

“[he displayed] a warm, nuanced tone, especially in the second act.” (New York Times, December 2015)

“David Portillo coped easily with the strenuous vocal ascents of Andres.” (Opera Magazine, January 2016)

“David Portillo was the pick of the principals: he sang Pedrillo’s “Frisch zum Kampfe!” with great style and a convincing presence.” (Bachtrack, July 2015)

“David Portillo was especially fine in Pedrillo’s song in the desert.” (New York Times, July 2015)

“David Portillo brings style, security and excellent diction” (Le blog du Wanderer, July 2015)

“Tenor David Portillo delivered a knockout company debut as the Prince, Don Ramiro, confirming his earlier successes in the area with Washington Concert Opera and the young artists program at Wolf Trap. He had a less covered, more forthright tone than his first-cast counterpart…[his] stronger sense of comic timing and earnest stage presence were a welcome contrast, too.” (Classical Voice America, May 2015)

“David Portillo as Don Ramiro had a crisp and well-articulated tenor, giving us some winning high registers” (Bachtrack, May 2015)

"As Don Ramiro at Washington National Opera: “The earnest and steadfast young Prince Ramiro was performed tonight by David Portillo, making his WNO debut. Portillo, credited widespread international acclaim especially for his portrayal of Rossini’s leading men, transfuses the adoration that is prevalent in his persona’s demeanor through his pure tenor tone.” (DC Metro Theatre Arts, May 2015)

“Tonio (tenor David Portillo, who was stunning in his first act aria)…never faltered when scaling those heights with a commanding strength. He was terrific.” (Arizona Daily Star, April 2015)

“Tenor David Portillo, who has a beautiful lyric sound, had no difficulty reaching the nine high Cs in the famous aria.” (Opera Today, April 2015)

“David Portillo was vocally splendid as Tamino, and gave off an infectious youthful optimism.” (ConcertoNet, February 2015)

“tenor David Portillo cut a princely figure with voice to match as Tamino” (Houston Press, February 2015)

“Another revelation was David Portillo as Don Narcisco; certainly one of the future great Rossini tenors of his generation.” (ConcertClassic.com, December 2013)

“David Portillo brought a perfect Mozartian tenor and solid acting ability to his memorable Ferrando.” (St Louis Post-Dispatch)

“As Renaud, David Portillo displayed such a sweet, free-and-easy light tenor sound that one wished Gluck had given him more to sing.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

“David Portillo’s cleanly voiced Don Ottavio was refreshingly manly.” (Opera News)

“Tenor David Portillo handled the role with appropriate swagger tinged with confusion. Narciso’s also given some of Rossini’s most beautifuland challenging bel canto solos in this opera. Portillo handled it effortlessly, his performance highlighted by impeccable diction and almost dreamy legato.” (The Washington Times)

“In the role of Narcisco, Fiorilla’s agitated lover, David Portillo used his warm and flexible tenor to elegant effect.” (The Washington Post)

Discography