Praised for his “rich baritone and confident stage demeanor,” Puerto Rican baritone Ricardo José Rivera is a 2021 alumnus of the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. In the 2022-23 Season Ricardo, performed in Roberto Devereux (Nottingham) with Washington Concert Opera, Ernani (Don Carol) with Sarasota Opera, Poliuto (Severo) with Teatro Nuovo, and Pagliacci (Silvio) with Opera San Antonio. His other recent engagements include Un ballo in Maschera (Silvano) with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Riccardo Muti, La bohème (Schaunard) for CulturArte de Puerto Rico, Dialogues of the Carmelites (Marquis de la Force, cover) for the Houston Grand Opera, Carmen (Escamillo) with Opera de Puerto Rico, and concerts with the Mobile Symphony.
In the 2023-24 Season, he made his debut in The Barber of Seville (Figaro) and Florencia en el Amazonas (Riolobo) with Opera San Jose, debuted in Luisa Miller (Miller) with Sarasota Opera, and returned to Teatro Nuovo for Carolina Uccelli’s Anna di Resburgo. Future engagements include a debut with Pittsburgh Opera in Pagliacci (Silvio) and a return to Opera San Jose. For the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Mr. Rivera sang in La bohème (Schaunard), La traviata (Baron Douphol), Pagliacci (Silvio), and Madame Butterfly (Sharpless). Notable covers included La bohème (Marcello) and the title role in Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Recent engagements include Die Zauberflöte (Papageno) at the Aspen Music Festival, Béatrice et Bénédict (Claudio) and the American premiere of contemporary opera Seven Angels (Angel #7) by Luke Bedford, both with the Aspen Music Festival, Così fan tutte (Guglielmo) with the International Lyric Academy of Rome and Un ballo in Maschera (Silvano) with Opera in the Heights. In concert, he has performed with the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago in Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn and with the Civic Orchestra at the Chicago Symphony Center, Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Dominican Republic Symphony Orchestra, and in several concerts with the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Rivera has been the recipient of several grants, including the Richard F. Gold Career Grant presented by the Shoshana Foundation, First Prize and Audience Prize winner in the Houston Saengerbund Voice Competition, and Third Prize winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions–Gulf Region. His training includes the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme, under the tutelage of Maestro Antonio Pappano, Sherrill Milnes’ VOICExperience, the International Lyric Academy of Rome, and the Aspen Music Festival.