Biography

The San Francisco Chronicle exclaims, “For theatrical charisma and musical bravado, it would be hard to top the performance of baritone Efraín Solís.”  He is a recent graduate of the San Francisco Opera Adler Fellowship and while with the company sang his first performances of Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Dandini in La cenerentola, Schaunard in La bohème, Silvano in Un ballo in maschera, Sciarrone in Tosca, and Prince Yamadori in Madama Butterfly. In the 2016-17 season, he debuts the role of Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera Memphis and is presented in recital by the El Camino College Center for the Arts.

Other recent performances for the Mexican American baritone include Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette with Opera Carolina, Virginia Opera, and Toledo Opera, Slook in La cambiale di matrimonio with Nicholas McGegan conducting Philharmonia Baroque, and Glass’ Hydrogen Jukebox with West Edge Opera.  He also joined the New Century Chamber Orchestra and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg as Gaspar in a semi-staged production of Donizetti’s Rita and the Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra for Britten’s War Requiem.  An active recitalist, he joined Steven Blier and the New York Festival of Song for its Compositura program and was presented in a Schwabacher Debut Recital in San Francisco.

He is an alumnus of the prestigious Merola Opera Program in association with San Francisco Opera, at which he sang Junius in The Rape of Lucretia and covered Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro.  He is also a former member of Opera Santa Barbara’s Studio Artist Program.  In 2013, he was a Grand Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and sang arias from Rodelina and Le nozze di Figaro on the famed company’s stage with Marco Armilianto conducting.  He was also a finalist in Houston Grand Opera's Eleanor McCollum Competition.  He holds a Master of Music from San Francisco Conservatory of Music, at which he sang Guglielmo in Così fan tutte and Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen and while at Chapman University, his performances included Beethoven’s Mass in C and Puccini’s Messa di Gloria.

 

Reviews

Baritone Efraín Solís was a stout vocal presence and a clear-cut everyman’s counterweight to the aristocratic Tamino.
— James Roy MacBean, Berkeley Daily Planet 11/13/15
The mime-face mask chosen for Papageno does not deter the Mexican-American baritone Efraín Solís from delivering an unabashedly fresh account of his appealing character. Solís, a second-year Adler fellow, possesses fine comedic timing in his spoken bits and then alternates charming seduction in his duets with serious despair in his suicide aria, which of course is thwarted when he plays his bells and wins over Papagena. Such bravado, vocally and in terms of acting talent, is not often seen on the War Memorial stage. But Solís reminds audiences that the sheer power of his voice can transcend even the wayward trappings of a misconceived design. He has certainly grasped the essence of Mozart’s intentions. May he prevail.
— John Sullivan, CultureVulture 11/11/15
Mexican-American baritone Efrain Solis makes his role debut as the randy bird-catcher Papageno, and his firm, resonant and appealing voice surpasses the memory of Nathan Gunn’s original interpretation in 2012. He makes the most of his lines and struts about the stage like a banty rooster. The broad humor and colloquialisms peppered throughout the translation work best in his earthy and endearing portrayal.
— Philip Campbell, Bay Area Reporter 10/29/15
Papageno was played by California lyric baritone Efraín Solís, who the previous San Francisco Opera season had replaced yet another artist at a late hour in Rossini’s “Cenerentola”. He brought to the role a secure vocalism, natural acting ability and a comic flair. He established an immediate rapport with the audience, suggesting that this role will become a career cornerstone.
— Opera Warhorses 10/21/15
Solis stumbled around the stage, singing with a solid and sensitive baritone.
— Ilana Walder-Biesanz, Bachtrack 10/21/15
As the hapless Papageno, baritone Efrain Solis was generally solid vocally and comically effective as the bird catcher who seemingly has better luck catching birds than landing a potential mate.
— James Ambroff-Tahan, SF Examiner 10/21/15
For theatrical charisma and musical bravado, it would be hard to top the performance of baritone Efraín Solís, who made Slook a figure of comic fun and unexpected nobility.
— Joshua Kosman, SF Chronicle 2015
Among San Francisco’s great treasures are the Adlers. These young singers are usually the messengers and maids in the grand repertoire, and sometimes are over-parted in important roles. In this Cenerentola production they were utter perfection as Dandini and the ugly step sisters...But the biggest star of the evening (and it was a stiff competition) was California baritone Efrain Solis as the prince’s servant Dandini. This young singer exuded the charm, pent-up fun and exuberant singing that will make him a Rossini star.
— Michael Milenski, Opera Today 2014
Baritone Efrain Solis, a first-year San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow, is simply magical as “Dandini”, valet to Ramiro. Since the opera’s controlling gimmick is that the two characters must trade places in order to test-out the virtue and worthiness of Angelina, Solis and Barbera are completely compatible / totally opposite bookends. Their physical parallels and harmonious vocals are a rare theatrical treat.
— Sean Martinfield, SF Examiner 2014
Two great Italian basso buffos – Renato Capecchi and Sesto Bruscantini – sang the part of Dandini in San Francisco in the first decade of this production’s existence. For this production, only 12 days before the opening performance, the San Francisco Opera announced that Adler Fellow Efrain Solis would step into the principal comic role of Dandini...It is remarkable just how good Solis’ Dandini proved to be...I found myself just as impressed by Solis’ comic timing, witty delivery of Rossini’s patter and strong technical skills.
— Opera Warhorses, 2014
Efraín Solís ran through a thunderous excerpt from Handel’s “Rodelinda,” shaping the music with passion and strength.
— Joshua Kosman, SF Chronicle 2014
Solís brought a dazzling sense of purpose to a martial aria from Handel’s Rodelinda, with every ornament urgent and essential, then returned after intermission for a daringly tremulous reading of his Donizetti assignment.
— Steven Winn, SF Classical Voice 2014
Special mention goes to Efraín Solís’ Silvano, the fisherman secretly helped along by the king, and who almost steals the show in the process.
— Rodney Punt, SF Classical Voice 2014
Efraín Solís, as Junius, filled the auditorium with prodigious sound. Solís complemented the size of his voice with tonal beauty and stage confidence.
— Jeffrey S. McMillan, Opera News 2013