The American tenor, David Portillo, studied at the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center, San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program and at Wolf Trap Opera in Vienna, Virginia. He has earned illustrious honors and prizes, including a 2009 Sullivan Foundation Encouragement Award, 2009 American Opera Society of Chicago Award, 2009 Shoshana Foundation Grant, the 2009 Winner of the Bel Canto Scholarship Foundation Competition, and the 2008 Winner of the Men’s Prize of the Union League of Chicago Young Adult’s Music Competition.
Praised by Opera News for “high notes with ease, singing with a luxuriant warm glow that seduced the ear as he bounded about the stage with abandon,” David Portillo has established himself as one of the leading artists of his generation. Past seasons on the operatic stage include appearances at Lyric Opera of Chicago (Trin in La fanciulla del West), Metropolitan Opera/Juilliard Opera (Renaud in Armide), Opera Theatre of St. Louis (Don Ottavio, Ferrando in W.A. Mozart's Cosi fan tutte), Pittsburgh Opera (Belmonte in W.A. Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Almaviva), Fort Worth Opera (Don Ottavio), Tulsa Opera (Almaviva), Virginia Opera (Ferrando), Wolf Trap Opera (Narciso, Flute in A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Dayton Opera (Tonio), and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Italy (Ferdinand in The Tempest). David Portillo has added to his repertoire the Chevalier de la Force in Francis Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites, Nadir in Les pêcheurs de perles, Fenton in Falstaff, Alfredo in La traviata, the title role in Albert Herring and Sam Kaplan in Street Scene.
With orchestra, David Portillo has appeared as the tenor soloist in Verdi's Requiem and L.v. Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with Phoenix Symphony, Elmhurst Symphony and Colorado Music Festival and Haydn’s Creation with the Colorado Music Festival. David Portillo has also appeared in recital with Steven Blier and the Schwabacher Debut Recital under the auspices of the San Francisco Opera Center where the San Francisco Chronicle lauded 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."
David Portillo's 2013-2014 season saw travels to Japan for the Saito-Kinen Festival as Gonzalve in L’heure espagnole, important European debuts with Wiener Staatsoper as Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Aix-en-Provence as Lurcanio in George Frideric Handel’s Ariodante, Salzburg Festival as Don Gaspar in Donizetti’s La favorite and Narciso in Rossini’s Il turco in Italia with Opera Angers-Nantes. In North America, David Portillo appeared as Ralph Rackstraw in HMS Pinafore with Arizona Opera, Almaviva for a debut at Palm Beach Opera, and returned to Opera Company of Philadelphia as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni.
The 2014-2015 season saw David Portillo as Tamino in The Magic Flute for his return to Houston Grand Opera, conducted by Robert Spano, and as Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola for his debut at Washington National Opera. He also returned to Aix-en-Provence as Pedrillo in W.A. Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Arizona Opera for his critically-acclaimed portrayal of Tonio in La fille du régiment. Orchestral engagements included G.F. Handel’s Messiah with Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, and Richmond Symphony, and Berlioz’s rarely performed Lélio with the Dayton Philharmonic.