At the start of his fifth decade performing on the world’s stages Mr. Raftery has chosen to record this particular group of songs as a reflection of a North American life and his own personal journey. Themes of war, love, loss, drug abuse, and mental illness weave a line through these works of composers Stokes, Greer, Weill, Chatman, and Morawetz.

While still a teenager Mr. Raftery had the opportunity to sing for both George London and Todd Duncan. Those two international singing stars were instrumental in encouraging Mr. Raftery to pursue classical voice studies. Beverly Sills, John Moriarty, and Tito Capobianco at Wolf Trap brought Mr. Raftery to the attention of the Richard Tucker Music Foundation and he won that most coveted prize in 1981 and his debut at Carnegie Hall soon followed. In quick succession Mr. Raftery debuted at the most prestigious Opera Houses of the world including London’s Covent Garden, Paris Opera, The Hamburg State Opera, The Bavarian State Opera, The San Francisco Opera, and Chicago Lyric Opera, as well as the festivals of Glyndebourne, and Pesaro.

1.   3 Songs to Poems by William Blake: No. 1, Piping Down the Valleys Wild
2.   3 Songs to Poems by William Blake: No. 2, Land of Dreams
3.   3 Songs to Poems by William Blake: No. 3, I Love the Jocund Dance
4.   Rattenbury: No More
5.   The Listeners
6.   4 Walt Whitman Songs: No. 1, Beat! Beat! Drums!
7.   4 Walt Whitman Songs: No. 2, Oh Captain! My Captain!
8.   4 Walt Whitman Songs: No. 3, Come Up From the Fields
9.   4 Walt Whitman Songs: No. 4, Dirge for Two Veterans
10.   5 Songs: No. 3, Some Who Used to Have Someone