“Rafael Porto genuinely conveyed his dedication and love for the steamboat El Dorado, his bass-baritone pure, especially in his higher register, bringing a soft gravity to his scenes.”
MiamiARTzine – Steve Gladstone
Praised for his “warm, pure tones,” Brazilian Rafael Porto is quickly gaining attention as a young bass-baritone. A lover of new works, he most recently created the roles of Guard in David Lang’s world premiere of prisoner of the state with the New York Philharmonic led by Jaap van Zweden and Putnam in Jake Heggie’s world premiere of If I Were You conducted by Nicole Paiement with San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program. In June, he sang the Sacristan in Tosca opposite Leah Crocetto in the title role with Gavriel Heine conducting at the Northern Lights Music Festival in Minnesota. The pandemic forced the cancellation of performances for The Commentator in Scalia/Ginsburg with Nashville Opera and Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore with Livermore Valley Opera. During the 2019-20 season, Mr. Porto returned to Florida Grand Opera to make his role debut of Leporello in Mozart’s Don Giovanni and also performed Bonze in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. He was also scheduled to sing Count Ceprano in Verdi’s Rigoletto and Geronimo in Cimarosa’s Il martimonio segreto before the company was forced to close down due to health guidelines.
In the 2018-2019 season, Mr. Porto performed as Luther and Crespel in Les contes d’Hoffmann at Nashville Opera; made his debut at the Northern Lights Music Festival as Bartolo in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia; sang the roles of Bartolo in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Johann in Massenet’s Werther with Florida Grand Opera. Previously he performed Capitán in Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas with internationally acclaimed soprano Ana María Martínez and 1st Nazarene in Richard Strauss’s Salome with Florida Grand Opera. Past season highlights include his Lincoln Center debut as Dr. Grenvil in Verdi’s La Traviata with the Philharmonia Orchestra of New York; Commissioner in Madama Butterfly, Billy Jackrabbit and José Castro in Puccin’i’s La Fanciulla del West, and Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Indianapolis Opera; and Sacristan and Jailer in Puccin’s Tosca with Nashville Opera.
On the concert stage Porto has been guest soloist in Serenade to Music of Ralph Vaughan Williams under the baton of Raymond Leppard and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 led by Carl St. Clair. He has also performed in Haydn’s Creation, Mozart’s Requiem, Bach’s St. John Passion, P.Q. Phang’s A Vietnamese Requiem, Mozart’s Regina coeli, Mendelssohn’s Die erste Walpurgisnacht and Elijah. He is also a frequent recitalist at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts.
He has worked under the baton of Christopher Allen, Emanuele Andrizzi, Timothy Myers, David Effron, Arthur Fagen, Paul Nadler, Joseph Rescigno, Ramón Tebar, Dean Williamson, and Alberto Zedda; and has worked with directors Chris Alexander, Garnett Bruce, Jose Maria Condemi, E. Loren Meeker, Candace Evans, John Hoomes, Peter Kazaras, Julia Pevzner, and Bernard Uzan.
Mr. Porto has participated as a Young Artist at The Glimmerglass Festival; Apprentice Artist at the Merola Opera Program; Young Artist at La Musica Lirica; and a Studio Artist at Florida Grand Opera. Mr. Porto was named a Grand Prize winner of the National Orpheus Vocal Competition in 2016 and was a finalist at the prestigious Eleanor McCollum Competition of Houston Grand Opera. He has been a winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions twice at the district level and went on to win an Encouragement Award as a Regional finalist.
Mr. Porto received his education from the prestigious Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University and Butler University in Indianapolis.