Concert cosponsors: Thomas and Virginia Chen
Guest artist cosponsor: Linda Vater
Guest artist accommodations: Hal and Debbie Lurtsema
Ralph Cato, baritone
Ralph Cato has traveled the world extensively, telling stories in song using his warm, clarion baritone voice. Whether performing oratorio masterpieces, traditional opera characters, or as an integral part of an ensemble, he brings a humanity to each character he portrays and always delivers a memorable performance.
Early in his career Mr. Cato traveled extensively with Albert McNeil’s Jubilee Singers as a featured soloist. He sang his first oratorio work, Carmina Burana—a work he has since performed numerous times to critical acclaim—with the Estonia National Symphony and Chorus in Tallinn. In Cologne, Germany, he sang his first Mozart Vesperes solennes de confessore with the Cologne Philharmonic.
Conductors and directors have relied on Mr. Cato’s consistent delivery of compelling performances. For Redlands Opera, he has portrayed the title role in Gianni Schicchi, Sharpless (Madama Butterfly ), Marcello (La bohème ), Sonora (La fanciulla del West ), Germont (La traviata ), Escamillo (Carmen ), and Tonio (Pagliacci ). In Porgy and Bess he has played Peter for Opera Pacific, Sportin’ Life for Lisbon Opera, and Porgy/Jake for Chicago Sinfonetta’s Swiss tour. Mr. Cato was featured on tour in Europe, China, Canada, and the U.S. with the Irish dance show Riverdance and was part of the award-winning cast of Baz Luhrman’s production of Puccini’s La bohème at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. He has performed with Los Angeles Opera, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Long Beach Symphony, San Bernadino Symphony, Symphony Silicon Valley, Stockton Symphony, Los Angeles’s Southeast Symphony, Pacific Chorale, Chorale bel Canto, and Santa Barbara Choral Society. Mr. Cato teaches applied voice, performance practice, and diction for singers at the University of California, Riverside.