Torlef Borsting’s powerful baritone fuses with sensitivity, compassion, and lyricism to lend a musical and dramatic depth to characters such as Scarpia in Tosca, Germont in La Traviata, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, and Jack Rance in La Fanciulla del West. His is a voice ideal for the commanding presence of Verdi, the emotional swell of Puccini, the flexibility and movement of Donizetti, and the nuance of Mozart.
Other leading roles in his repertoire include Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Prince Yeletsky in Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades, Dr. Bartolo in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Leporello in Don Giovanni and Horace Tabor in The Ballad of Baby Doe, where his vocal prowess was lauded by East Bay Times as having “appropriate gusto…[moving] convincingly from rowdy full-voice banter at the saloon with his pals to sotto voce crooning to Baby Doe.”
A native of Hawaii, Torlef has spent most of his time on the West Coast, performing leading and supporting roles with companies including San Francisco Opera, Opera Parallèlle, West Bay Opera, Sacramento Opera, Opera San Jose, Livermore Valley Opera, Opera San Luis Obispo, Berkeley Opera,and others. In concert, he has performed as a soloist with Pacific Chamber Symphony, Mendocino Music Festival, Oakland Symphony Chorus, Symphony Parnassus, Cantare con Vivo, and Oakland Civic Orchestra.
In 2018, Torlef made a move across the country with his family to Florida, where he now resides. He has since made company debuts with Opera Orlando, Indianapolis Opera, New York City Opera, and looks forward to his first dive into Wagner’s Ring Cycle in the summer of 2022 with Tundi Productions in Brattleboro, VT.
Torlef’s foray into classical singing happened almost by chance; a series of events and an assignment to watch Le nozze di Figaro saw him shift from being a low brass performer at the end of his undergraduate degree studies to being fully-committed toward becoming an opera singer.