Tenor Rafael Davila has quickly risen to be one of the most sought after tenors of his generation. With more than 60 roles already under his belt, he has been invited by Maestro Placido Domingo to sing the operas Norma and La Forza del Destino for Washington National Opera, Tosca for Los Angeles Opera and Manon Lescaut for Opera de Valencia in Spain under Mo Domingo’s conducting.
This year marked his long anticipated debut with the Metropolitan Opera in New York as Don Jose in Carmen with great critical aclaim. Other engagements during the past season inlcuded La Fanciulla del West with Michigan Opera Theater, Carmen and Un Ballo in Maschera for Florida Grand Opera, as well as the title role in Verdi’s Otello with Teatro de la Opera in PR.
This upcoming season finds Mr Davila singing the role of Cavaradossi in Tosca for Opera de Puerto Rico and Arizona Opera, covering the role of Calaf for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, his debut as Verdi’s Don Carlo with Washington National Opera, his debut in the presitigious Liceu de Barcelona in Spain as Des Grieux in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut and hia return to the Metropolitan Opera in NY as the leading tenor’s cover in Verdi’s Luisa Miller under Maestro James Levine’s baton with Maestro Placido Domingo in the baritone role of Miller.
Other recent engagements include La Fanciulla del West and Carmen for Minnesota Opera, Tosca in Leipzig, Germany, his return to Washington Opera as Don Jose in Carmen, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly opposite soprano Ana María Martínez for Opera de Puerto Rico, his debut with the Lyric Opera of Chicago in the world premiere of the opera Bel Canto, return to Valencia as Radames in Verdi’s Aida, appeared at the historic Macerata Festival in Italy as Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana and as Canio in Pagliacci and returned to Lyric Opera of Kansas City as Don Jose in Carmen after previously appearing with the company in the operas Tosca, Norma and Il Trovatore.
The 2014-15 season marked the tenor’s return to the historic Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Italy as Canio in I Pagliacci and as Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana after his debut with the company in 2004 in the title role of Verdi’s Gustavo III (Riccardo in Un ballo in Maschera). That same season also marked his debut with Florida Grand Opera as Cavaradossi in Tosca. Prior to that Mr. Dávila made his debut as Radames in Aida for Manitoba Opera in Canada.
For Culturarte de Puerto Rico Davila sang a concert opposite to Metropolitan Opera’s stars Deborah Voigt and Anita Rachvelishvili.
In 2012 he made his debut in the title role of Verdi’s Otello for Sarasota Opera and as Manrico in Il Trovatore for Opera New Jersey and Kansas City Opera. That same year Rafael also made his debut in Spain in Nabucco with Opera de Bilbao and reprised the role of Calaf in Turandot for Opera de Puerto Rico.
Abroad Mr Davila made his debut as Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Boheme for the Netherlands Reisopera, and for the New Zealand Opera as Don Jose in Carmen and as Alfredo in La Traviata. He made his debut as Calaf in Puccini’s Turandot for Connecticut Grand Opera, a role he also sang for the National Lyric Opera of New York, and sang the premiere of the opera Time and Again Barelas with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra.
His repertory also includes the leading tenor roles in the operas; Werther, Gianni Schicchi, Lucia di Lamermoor, Rigoletto, Attila, Giovanna D’Arco and I Lombardi. 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 includes Verdi’s Requiem, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Bach’s Magnificat, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (for the prestigious Casals’ Festival), Mozart’s Coronation Mass with soprano June Anderson and Estevez’ Cantata Criolla which he performed with The Seattle Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Gerard Schwarz. His recordings of Ariel Ramírez’ Misa Criolla as well as another recording of the operetta Cofresí by Rafael Hernández were both nominated for a Grammy Award.
Rafael began his musical training at the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music, completing later a Master’s degree in Opera Performance at the University of Texas at Austin under the guidance of Metropolitan Opera tenor William Lewis, and for the past ten years has been working with Bill Schumann in NY as his vocal coach.
Mr. Davila has also appeared with L’Opéra du Montréal, Palm Beach Opera, San Antonio Opera, Opera Tampa, Austin Lyric Opera, Teatro de la Opera and Fort Worth Opera, among others having the opportunity to work with stage directors like; Anne Bogart, John Caird, Ron Daniels, Pippo Delbono, Anthony Laciura, John Pascoe, Ira Siff, Bernard Uzan and Francesca Zambello. He has also worked with some of the most renowned conductors including; Nello Santi, Teo Alcantara, Sarah Caldwell, Anton Coppola, Eugene Kohn, Renato Palumbo, Ramón Tebar, Massimo Zanetti and Xian Shang, among others.