2020 Fall programming opener includes Love Letters: A Recital with David Portillo

CHICAGO— Following the success of their innovative production of Humperdink’s Hansel und Gretel, and Will Liverman’s riveting recital, Valhalla Media continues its inaugural year showcasing more beloved American performers. The concert will feature David Portillo, tenor (Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Wiener Staatsoper), and celebrated collaborative pianist Yasuko Oura, pianist (Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Opera Theater, Des Moines Metro Opera).

Love Letters: A Recital with David Portillo, is a love letter to the form of art song and to the city of Chicago. The concert’s program is jointly curation by Mr. Portillo and Ms. Oura. It will feature Robert Schumann’s famous Dichterliebe, alongside songs of Roger Quilter and My Dearest Ruth, composed by Chicago native, Stacy Garrop. This concert will be broadcast on Valhalla Media Live at 1:30pm CDT on September, 6 2020, and will be available on demand immediately following the concert for seven days.

September 6, 2020, 1:30pm CDT
Pay as you can with suggested ticket cost of $17.95
Tickets are available for purchase on website 8/26/2020
David Portillo, tenor Yasuko Oura, pianist

Valhalla Media is committed to re-energizing the world of classical music in a new digital realm—providing online performing arts content that features fresh and creative programming, while helping artists and arts organizations re-imagine the ways in which they can broaden and connect with their audiences. Serving as Chicago’s premiere location recording, videography, and live-streaming media solutions company, and working directly with artists and producing organizations alike, Valhalla Media will elevate its colleagues and help them thrive on the stage of the 21st Century.


In his return to the Metropolitan Opera in Jean-François Girard’s new production of Der fliegende Holländer, Opera News says “David Portillo was a wonderful Steersman, singing with clean, bracing confidence and acting with discretion and taste, once again confirming his status as one of the most reliable and versatile young singers on the Met roster.” This upcoming season included Covid-cancelled performances of Roberto Devereux at the Met, Mr. Rodriguez in the world-premiere of Awakenings by Tobias Picker at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and a return to Bayerrische Staatsoper in Munich for Haydn’s Orlando Paladino. Mr. Portillo was previously at the Washington National Opera and the UK’s Glyndebourne Festival for performances of Tamino in Die Zauberflöte. He also recently debuted as Chevalier de la Force in Dialogues des Carmélites at the Metropolitan Opera.

Previous seasons saw a return to the Lyric Opera of Chicago for Arbace in Idomeneo with Sir Andrew Davis, an opera he performed for his debut with the Teatro Real in Madrid, but as Idamante. On two separate occasions last season, Mr. Portillo returned to his hometown of San Antonio, Texas for a role debut as Alfredo in La Traviata with Opera San Antonio, as well as
a solo orchestral program of Italian repertoire with the San Antonio Symphony with Sebastian Lang-Lessing. Orchestral engagements included a return to the Los Angeles Philharmonic for Beethoven’s Mass in C Major, and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with Gustavo Dudamel, an appearance with Grant Gershon and the Los Angeles Master Chorale for Mozart’s Requiem, and Carmina Burana with DePaul University as part of the opening celebrations of the Holtschneider Performance Center. Finally, he joined the Minnesota Orchestra for performances of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, the New York Choral Society for Tippett’s A Child of our Time at Carnegie Hall, the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis for Handel’s Messiah, and El Paso Choral Society for first performances of Verdi’s Requiem.

In the 2017-2018 season, David Portillo made a splash in two role debuts at the Metropolitan Opera, first as Eduardo in Thomas Adès’ North American premiere of The Exterminating Angel, then as Camille de Rosillon in The Merry Widow. He performed Count Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Houston Grand Opera, and Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni for his debut with Dallas Opera. In the summer of 2018, Mr. Portillo made two important house debuts, at the Deutsche Oper Berlin as Count Libenskof, and the Bayerische Staatsoper as Pasquale in Orlando Paladino. Orchestral highlights of the season included Mozart’s Requiem with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. Past seasons on
the operatic stage include appearances at the Metropolitan Opera (Count Almaviva, Jacquino in Fidelio), Lyric Opera of Chicago (David in Die Meistersinger, Trin, La fanciulla del West, Andres in Wozzeck), Houston Grand Opera (Tamino), Opera Australia (Ferrando in Così fan tutte), Washington National Opera (Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola), Metropolitan
Opera/Juilliard Opera (Renaud, Armide), Opera Philadelphia (Don Ottavio, Don Giovanni), Glyndebourne Festival (David in Die Meistersinger), Opera Theatre of St. Louis (Don Ottavio; Ferrando), Théâtre des Champs-Élysées (Pedrillo), Opera Philadelphia (Dr. Richardson in Breaking the Waves), Pittsburgh Opera (Belmonte, Die Entführung aus dem Serail; Count Almaviva), San Diego Opera (Don Ramiro), Arizona Opera (Ralph Rackstraw, HMS Pinafore, Tonio), Palm Beach Opera (Count Almaviva, Ernesto in Don Pasquale), the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Italy (Ferdinand, The Tempest), and the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan (Gonzalve, L’heure espagnole). Mr. Portillo has also made important European debuts in recent seasons, including the Wiener Staatsoper (Count Almaviva), Dutch National Opera (Pedrillo in Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Oper Frankfurt (Tamino), The English Concert (Lurcanio in Ariodante), Festivald’Aix-en-Provence (Pedrillo, Lurcanio),Salzburg Festival (Don Gaspar in Donizetti’s La favorite), and with Opera Angers-Nantes (Narciso).With orchestra, David Portillo has appeared as the tenor soloist in Verdi’s Requiem and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Phoenix Symphony and Haydn’s Creation with the Colorado Music Festival and Eugene Symphony. In Handel’s Messiah, he has performed with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony and Richmond Symphony. He has performed as the tenor soloist in Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri with the Netherlands Radio Orchestra. With Washington Concert Opera, he has performed Tebaldo in concert performances of I Capuleti e i Montecchi.

An alumnus of the Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera, and Wolf Trap Opera in Vienna, Virginia, Mr. Portillo grew up in San Antonio, Texas, and currently resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Pianist Yasuko Oura has been praised for her sensibility and passion for collaborating with others. She has maintained a busy schedule of performing concerts and working for various opera companies while keeping an active teaching schedule. She is currently a lecturer of collaborative piano at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music where she enjoys working with talented pianists as well as coaching chamber music. She is also on the faculty at North Park University. In demand as a vocal coach, she has been on the music staff for Des Moines Metro Opera for over ten seasons. She regularly works for Lyric Opera of Chicago and Chicago Opera Theater. She has played under many prominent conductors such as Sir Andrew Davis, Gary Wedow, and Jane Glover. Additionally, she was the principal production pianist and coach for Florentine Opera for seven years. Her other past affiliations include companies such as Fort Worth Opera, Kentucky Opera, Madison Opera, Toledo Opera, and AIMS in Graz, Austria.

Some recent operatic highlights include An American Dream for Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Lyric Unlimited, Moby Dick at Chicago Opera Theater, and Candide at Des Moines Metro Opera. This summer, she would have returned to Des Moines Metro Opera for Platée. On a recital front, she has performed many recitals with some of the world’s most exciting musicians including Susanna Phillips, David Portillo, Susanne Mentzer, and Kyle Ketelsen. This summer she was slated to return to the Twickenham Festival where she would have collaborated with Susanna Phillips as well as other prominent artists on recitals and chamber music concerts.

An avid chamber musician, Ms. Oura has performed in such venues as Carnegie Hall’s Weil Recital Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Merkin Hall. She is also the co-artistic director of Chamber Music at Bethany concert series where members of Chicago Symphony Orchestra and other prominent musicians come together to perform chamber music. She has also served as the official pianist for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Wisconsin District and the McCammon Vocal Competition in Fort Worth, TX. She has been seen in performances for the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series, the Bel Canto Foundation, WFMT, and WTTW’s Chicago Tonight. She resides near Chicago, where she works with Lyric Opera of

Chicago, Grant Park Orchestra Chorus, Music of the Baroque, Chicago Opera Theater, Light Opera Works, and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Wisconsin District. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and master’s and doctoral degrees from the Juilliard School, where she was a C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellow.

A National Historic Landmark, Glessner House was designed by noted American architect Henry Hobson Richardson and completed in 1887. It remains an internationally-known architectural treasure in Chicago. A radical departure from traditional Victorian architecture, the structure served as an inspiration to architects such as Louis Sullivan, Mies van der Rohe, and the young Frank Lloyd Wright and helped redefine domestic architecture.