J. Patrick Raftery’s professional debut was in 1979 when he sang Schaunard in La Boheme sharing the stage with Luciano Pavarotti. After his years at The Boston Conservatory and The Juilliard School of Music Mr. Raftery was taken up by The Richard Tucker Music Foundation and C.A.M.I. artists when his career soared and took him to all the major opera houses of the world in less than a decade until his debut at the Metropolitan Opera with Mirella Freni in Manon Lescaut, Mr. Raftery was one of America’s most prominent Baritones.
“Dominating the evening was J. Patrick Raftery. A big soaring, easily produced voice! What a star he seems destined to be!”
The New York Times – Harold C. Shonberg
In August 1992, Mr. Raftery gave his first performances as a tenor, at New York’s Avery Fischer Hall in concert performances of Lucio Silla. The 1992/93 season included Erik in Der Fliegende Hollander, Florestan in Fidelio and Max in Jonny Spielt auf, all with the Opera of Leipzig. Immediately, the same company invited him to participate in their 300 year anniversary celebration by singing Grigori/Demitri in the acclaimed production of Boris Godunov by Oscar winning director Istvan Szabo.
“J. Patrick Raftery has turned out to be an ideal interpreter for the role of Tristan. His voice is dark – timbered and perfectly directed, flows fully in the middle and radiates into a brilliant top. Furthermore, he is an excellent and very convincing actor. Brilliant in Wagnerian style and articulation of the German language.”
Das Opernglas – K.F. Schulter
Mr. Raftery’s debut at La Scala came in the 1993/94 season’s opening production of Spontini’s La Vestale conducted by Riccardo Muti and recorded live for Sony Classical. That same season Mr. Raftery debuted in quick succession the roles of Parsifal, Samson and Siegmund. The latter in the Frankfurt Opera’s critically acclaimed Ring of Herbert Werneke conducted by Sylvain Cambreling.
“…elegant and stylish.. His voice is big and round, beautifully produced, blessed with high A’s he tosses off as if they were nothing at all.”
The Washington Post – Paul Hume
Mr. Raftery participated in The Royal Opera House at Covent Garden’s world premier of Alexander Goehr’s opera Arianna, Siegmund in Seattle’s Ring , Erik in a new Der Fliegende Hollander for the Canadian Opera Company (Toronto), Andrei Kovanski in Kovanschina for The Hamburg State Opera and the world premier of Salammbo for The Paris Opera.
Mr. Raftery has been Tristan for the Operas of Meiningen, Nancy and The Croatian National Theater of Zagreb. The 2004/2005 season found Mr. Raftery’s role debut as Otello for the opera of Syracuse and a filming of his Siegmund for a DVD of Wagner’s Ring for the opera of Liege.
“J. Patrick Raftery is a discovery as a very intelligent Wagnerian!”
The Frankfurter Allegemeine Zeitung
Most recently Mr. Raftery was Father Grenville in Vancouver Opera’s production of Dead Man Walking and next season will make his role debut with Pacific Opera Victoria as Benoit/Alcindoro in La Bohéme. Mr. Raftery was a member of voice faculty with The University of Toronto from 2007-2014 and joins the University of British Columbia, School of Music as an Assistant Professor of Voice and Opera starting in summer 2014.