J. Patrick Raftery made his Pacific Opera Victoria debut and role debut as the suave businessman William Marshall in the Canadian premiere of Marc Blitzstein's Regina in April 2008. He returned in February 2010 for his role debut as Monsieur Taupe in POV's Canadian stage première of Richard Strauss' Capriccio. In February 2014 he performs the role of the Major Domo in Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos.
Mr. Raftery made his operatic debut in 1979 as Schaunard in La Bohème, 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 CAMI artists when his career soared and took him to all the major opera houses of the world in less than a decade, culminating in his debut at the Metropolitan Opera with Mirella Freni in Manon Lescaut.
Mr. Raftery successfully made the difficult transition to tenor with The Mostly Mozart Festival at New York's Avery Fisher Hall in concert performances of Mozart's Lucio Silla in 1992. 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/Dimitri in the acclaimed production of Boris Godunov by Oscar winning director Istvan Szabo.
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.
Mr. Raftery participated in The Royal Opera House, 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, Andrei Khovansky in Khovanshchina for The Hamburg State Opera and the world premiere 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 included his role debut as Otello for Syracuse Opera and he filmed the role of Siegmund for a DVD of Wagner's Ring for the Liège Opera.
The 2006/2007 season found Mr. Raftery reviving Otello for the Opera of Budapest, Sergei (Lady MacBeth of Mtsensk), Siegmund for Oper Wiesbaden and Eisenstein for a new production of Die Fledermaus in Toulouse.
A very busy concert artist, most recently Mr. Raftery has been in Barcelona, Palma de Majorca and Granada for Haydn's Creation and Handel's Messiah.
He joined the University of Toronto Faculty of Music as a voice instructor in the fall of 2007 and during the 2007-8 season performed at the Opera of Monte Carlo as Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus and at Pacific Opera Victoria as William Marshall in Regina.In February 2013 Mr. Raftery made his role and house debut with the Opera de Marseille as Aegisth in Richard Strauss' Opera Elektra.
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.
Patrick Raftery was delightfully absurd as M. Taupe the Prompter, who despite sleeping through the entire rehearsal still thinks no play can go on without him.
Review Vancouver (Pacific Opera Victoria's Capriccio)
Above, J. Patrick Raftery sings "Dunque io son" from Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia with soprano Ruth Ann Swenson