“Vocally, Mr Davila put in a robust and hot-blooded performance, undaunted by the house or the circumstances.As Don José, Mr. Davila showed off a burly, dark-hued tenor. He was especially convincing in his character’s impetuous and anguished utterances, which he emphasized with an appealing plangent ping.”
The New York Times – Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim
As Don Jose in Carmen.
With an international career that expands for more than 20 years and 60 roles, tenor Rafael Davila recent important engagements include Don Jose in Carmen with the Metropolitan Opera in NY, Renato Des Grieux in Manon Lescaut at Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu and under Maestro Placido Domingo’s baton for Opera de Valencia in Spain, the premiere of Jimmy Lopez’s opera Bel Canto with the Chicago Lyric Opera where he created the role of General Alfredo, Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci for Sarasota Opera, Teatro San Carlo in Naples, as well as for the Macerata Festival in Italy, and Don Carlo, Carmen, Norma and La Forza del Destino for Washington National Opera.
This season he has been a member of the Metropolitan Opera artist’s roster for the third consecutive year in the productions of Aida, Carmen and Tosca, and is performing these last two operas as well for opera Naples and Opera de Puerto Rico respectively. His Don Jose has also been heard in Minnesota, Miami, Kansas City and New Zealand.
Next season he makes his debut with San Francisco Opera in Manon Lescaut, returns to Sarasota Opera for Catalani’s La Wally, and also debuts with Opera Colorado and Opera San Antonio as Mario Cavaradossi in Tosca, a role he has also sang in Kansas City, Sarasota, Miami, San Juan and Leipzig in Germany.
For the 2020-21 season Rafael will return to the Metropolitan Opera in NY to sing the leading tenor role in performances of Verdi’s Nabucco.
Other highlights in his career include the title role in Verdi’s Otello for Sarasota Opera and Teatro de la Opera in Puerto Rico, Radames inAida for Opera de Valencia and Manitoba Opera in Canada, Dick Johnson in La Fanciulla del West for Michigan Opera and Minnesota Opera, Manrico in Il Trovatore for Opera New Jersey and Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Riccardo in Un Ballo in Maschera for Teatro San Carlo in Italy and Florida Grand Opera, the premiere of the opera Time and Again Barelas by Miguel del Aguila with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra and Calaf in Turandot for Opera de Puerto Rico, Connecticut Grand Opera and New York Lyric Opera.
He has also sang the leading tenor roles in the operas La Boheme, Madame Butterfly, Werther, Gianni Schicchi, Lucia di Lammermoor, Rigoletto, Attila, Nabucco, Candide, Salome, La Traviata, Luisa Miller, Giovanna D’Arco and I Lombardi with opera companies in the Netherlands, Austria, New York, Massachusetts, Arizona, Palm Beach, Sarasota, Tampa, Austin, San Antonio, Fort Worth, Bilbao and Montreal.
Rafael has also appeared in the leading tenor roles of the operettas Die Fledermaus and The Merry Widow, as well as in the Spanish zarzuelas, Luisa Fernanda, El Huesped del Sevillano, Venezuelan zarzuela Alma Llanera, and the Cuban zarzuelas María La O and Cecilia Valdés.
His concert experience also includes Verdi’s Requiem, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Bach’s Magnificat, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Berlioz ‘s Te Deum, Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass, and Estevez’ Cantata Criolla that he performed with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Gerard Schwarz.
His recordings of Ariel Ramírez’ Misa Criolla as well as the recording of the operettaCofresí by Rafael Hernández were both nominated for a Grammy Award.
Rafael began his musical training at the Puerto Rico Music Conservatory completing later a Master’s degree in Opera Performance at the University of Texas at Austin.