Reviews



El Payador in María de Buenos Aires with Des Moines Metro Opera

As El Payador (Cantor or Minstrel) baritone Ricardo Rivera made the most of the diverse vocal demands, offering suave vocalism of the first rank whether investing introspective phrases with a haunting grainy quality; slamming out declamations above the staff with ferocious power and accuracy; or spinning out creamy melodies with a melting arch of gorgeous sound.

James Sohre, Opera Today

Lt. Audebert in Silent Night with Opera San José

As the French Lieutenant Audebert, Ricardo Rivera found just the right scope for his particular odyssey. Having had to abandon his pregnant wife Madeleine (a cameo warmly sung by Ksenia Popova), he struggles to make sense of his role in the conflict. This is not only because of his own moral compass, but also owing to the overbearing exhortations of his General (authoritatively performed by Nathan Stark), who surprisingly also turns out to be his father. Mr. Rivera began the evening quite lyrically, with his sensitive, well-modulated intentions occasionally becoming a mite diffuse. But as the tensions heightened, Ricardo turned up the heat and produced ringing, mellifluous vocalizing.

James Sohre, Opera Today

Escamillo in Carmen with Heartbeat Opera

This “Carmen” explores tensions over national borders and portrays the Gypsies as criminals smuggling cocaine. The dashing Escamillo, Bizet’s toreador, becomes “the Toreador” (the virile baritone Ricardo Rivera), a notorious bandit who boastfully brandishes a “Wanted” poster with his photo on it and talks of killing “bulls.”

Anthony Tommasini, The New York TImes

Orsini in Rienzi with Opera Orchestra of NY

The cast was winning over all, especially the baritone Ricardo Rivera as Orsini,

Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

Better were the two “heavies”, bass-baritone Philip Horst as Stefano Colonna and Ricardo Rivera who performed the baritone role of Orsini with solid technique and a great deal of menace. We are looking forward to catching him again this season as Don Giovanni with the Mannes Opera.

Meche Kroop, The Opera Insider

Thomas Martin in Oscar with Santa Fe Opera

The prisoners’ chorus and many smaller roles are well-taken by the company’s apprentices, notably Ricardo Rivera as Warder Thomas Martin.

John Stege, Santa Fe Reporter

In the prison scenes, there were memorable cameo appearances - Kevin Burdette as Colonel Issacson, the brutal governor of Reading Goal; Ricardo Rivera as a deeply sympathetic warden,...

Simon Williams, Opera News

Title role in Don Giovanni with Mannes Opera

The May 5 performance of Mannes Opera's briskly entertaining Don Giovanni proved an excellent showcase for the gifted young baritone Ricardo Rivera in the title role. Rivera combined a terrier's boundless energy and tenacity with an easy physicality that allowed him to move smoothly from seductive gentleness to remorseless cruelty. Vocally, the role posed no problems, and he sang with shiny forward tone and clear, conversational diction. Combined with the menacing men's chorus and Rivera's eloquently painful cries of torment, the Don's final moments were as thrilling as they should be.

Joanne Sydney Lessner, Opera News

As Giovanni, Ricardo Rivera combined a sinister magnetism with unerring vocal control.

Spengler aka David P Goldman, Asia Times Online

Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Opera Company of Middlebury

Sharpless, the American consul, is the moral center of the story and Ricardo Rivera's resonant baritone voice brought gravitas and compassion to the role. The scene between him and Cio-Cio-San as he makes the choice not to be the one who brings her devastating news was beautifully performed and included a wonderful and dramatic interchange with Cio-Cio-San that had us all leaning forward in our seats.

Nancy Maxwell, Addison Independant

Sharpless, always one of the most sympathetic characters in the opera, was given a sensitive and beautifully and emotionally powerful performance by Ricardo Rivera.

Jim Lowe, Rutland Herald

Mathieu in Andrea Chenier with Opera Orchestra of NY

The smaller parts in Chénier matter (and demand) more than those of many verismo scores. Ricardo Rivera's Mathieu used his impressive voice, ....

David Shengold, Opera News

The rich-toned baritones Ricardo Rivera (as the snarling ideologue Mathieu) and David Pershall (as Roucher) stood out in a spirited ensemble...

Marion Lignana Rosenberg, The Classical Review

In the small character roles in which the opera abounds, there were several good contributions. Ricardo Rivera sneered convincingly and sang strongly as Mathieu, who gets to sing revolutionary songs and polish the bust of Marat.

Opera Obession Blog

We returned to a wonderful Mathieu by Mr. Rivera, and then we begin to feel good that some of the smaller parts are always so well cast (even if several were not). As Mr. Rivera led out Ms. Elias in a black scarf over her head and blanket-like black robe that resembled a burka (well, except we could see hear face), the audience began to applaud.

Alan Savada

Eve Queler and Friends Concert

Saving the best for last, powerful baritone Ricardo Rivera projected a profoundly protective image in "Avant de quitter ces lieux" from Gounod's Faust and an even more profoundly self-absorbed one as Escamillo in the "Toreador Song" from Bizet's Carmen. Having seen some rather weak Escamillos at the Met recently, we totally relished the animal magnetism and role-appropriate arrogance that so enthralled the eponymous heroine.

Meche Kroop, Voce di meche

Sophia Gubaidulina's Perception with Contempo's Pacifica Quartet and eighth blackbird

Tony Arnold and Ricardo Rivera were the able singers, both amazingly precise of musical and verbal gesture,

John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

Ford in Falstaff with Mannes Opera

(Mr. Rivera) seemed at ease on stage, with communicative singing, excellent diction, intelligent phrasing and well-calibrated acting, neither too broad nor too subtle.

Zachary Woolfe, The New York Times

Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte with Mannes Opera

As Don Alfonso, Ricardo Rivera (Thursday's cast) paid precise attention to recitative — essential in this production, which provided a detailed program synopsis but no subtitles. Rivera did not let comic opportunities derail his natural and stately deportment in the role, and his strict sense of rhythm made the Act I quintet "Sento, o Dio, che questo" a highlight.

Tristan Kraft, Opera News

Roderick in La chute de la maison Usher with Pocket Opera of NY

The performers here -- particularly baritone Ricardo Rivera, intense and commanding as Roderick Usher -- seized well on the dramatic opportunities of lunacy to put together a great short fragment of no-holds-barred opera.

An Unamplified Voice

Rivera deployed the intimacy of the room to shade his voice with a wide range of colors. His Usher began despondent, and quickly tipped over the brink of sanity, all the while maintaining clear diction.

Parterre Box

Chautauqua Symphony Opera Highlights Concert

Baritone Ricardo Rivera brought tears to his voice with words that didn’t come easily in the penultimate song of Billy Budd, condemned to die at sea and now living through the moonlight to his last hour at dawn — a stirring performance.

Anthony Bannon, The Chautauqua Daily

Enrico Caruso Museum's 25th Anniversary Gala

Ricardo Rivera captivated us with Silvio’s aria from Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci. Rivera’s rich vibrant baritone had exceptional warmth and fervor and you KNOW that Nedda is in big trouble with this irresistible lover with both good looks and caressing tone.

Nino Pantano, Brooklyn Eagle

Young and vibrant talents in the world of Opera continue to amaze us with their love, passion and ever expanding understanding of their voice and the field. The judgement of such talent brings us to the still-point when we seek those who are most promising. And when you are about to accept a favorite or one that is truly "up and coming," there emerges a diamond that is not in the rough. Such is the case with baritone Ricardo Rivera. The deep tones and complex vibrating mechanisms in this young man's human form are testimony to the natural ability one is born with that produces that "exceptional and brilliant sound" that embraces both the historical and current scales...we call OPERA!

David Mercaldo

Columbia Citizens Foundation Opera Night

Baritone Ricardo Rivera regaled us with "O Carlo, ascolta" from Verdi's Don Carlo. His soaring and vibrant baritone has a manly timbre that at once captures the ear of the beholder. His encore "Some enchanted Evening" was impressive.

Nino Pantano, The Italian Tribune

Sulpice in La Fille du Régiment ("The Lesson") with Mannes Opera

The kindly Sergeant Sulpice was superbly portrayed by New York baritone Ricardo Rivera. We will be looking forward to his portrayal of Don Giovanni in May.

Meche Kroop, The Opera Insider

Opera Index Competition's Annual Recital

Ricardo Rivera used his fine lyric baritone in a plangent, spirited and caressing "Mi Aldea" from the Zarzuela Los Gavilanes by J. Guerrero. Rivera's sudden ascent to a B flat near the finale was thrilling.

Nino Pantano, Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Le chat in L'Enfant et les sortilèges with Castleton Festival

Perhaps the niftiest song and dance ensembles of the evening were... the brilliant, wordless “Meow duet” between the tomcat (Ricardo Rivera) and his intended (Jessica Klein).”

Terry Ponick, Washington Times

Private Concert

Ricardo Rivera's possess a powerful, expressive, velvety, chiaroscuro instrument, which he uses to serve the composer and his music. All the frustration, desperation and passion of the lovestruck Silvio were in his voice - the ascent to the high G IN ONE BREATH was thrilling. All the panache, braggadocio and brio of the Don were captured in his interpretation of the Champagne Aria, enhanced by his body language and excellent diction.

Lew Loesberg