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. For Mr. Davila, Thursday’s star turn could prove just a one-night stand, but judging from the audience’s reaction, Mr. Davila will return, with his name printed in the program.
As Don José, Rafael Davila displayed a powerful tenor and impressive stamina. Davila’s “Flower Song” was beautifully shaped, and it ended softly, as it’s supposed to, but very few tenors are able to do it.
A true revelation—and God knows how welcome it is in the current tenorial landscape—was Rafael Davila as Turiddu. A full, robust lyric voice; a forceful characterization, with ringing and well-placed high notes. How often we have lamented the absence of new voices in the lirico-drammatico repertory, lacking neither range nor volume, and free from the tendency to push, so fatiguing to both the singer or the audience. Davila fills a longtime void and does so with the presence of a top-of-the line (world class) singer.
The role of Johnson is sung with power and facility by tenor Rafael Davila. In one of the most moving moments in the opera, we have the tender tenor aria ““Ch’ella mi creda” ,” in which Johnson asks the men to lie to Minnie and let her believe that he has escaped both death and his wicked past. This short aria is the kind of shining gem that Puccini is so good at, and Rafael Davila serves it up with touching sweetness.
“It’s taken 23 years for Sarasota Opera’s Verdi cycle to finally reach the composer’s late masterwork. Heard Saturday night Sarasota Opera’s Otello proved mostly successful and worth the wait, due in large part to an overpowering performance by Rafael Davila in the title role. Davila has been Sarasota’s go-to house tenor for the last several seasons for Italian and French repertory. Over that span, the Puerto Rican singer has grown from a promising journeyman to an artist of real stature. His imposing instrument has become even larger in volume and heft and, as an actor, Davila has vastly improved since his first Sarasota seasons. The tenor brought command and cumulative dramatic intensity to the unraveling Moor. His victorious entrance and rich-voiced Esultate! were clarion and forceful. As the evening unfolded, and Otello’s jealousy spins out of control under the calculating Iago, Davila’s performance become electrifying.
He brought full-metal vocalism to the Oath Duet and alarming intensity to his scenes with Desdemona as his suspicions mount of her unfaithfulness. After murdering his innocent wife, the Moor’s remorse and devastation were fully manifest in Davila’s broken and devastated Niun mi tema. Davila has been around for a while now, but this is truly a breakout performance that should take the gifted tenor’s career to the next level.”
El tenor Rafael Dávila convence y conmueve en la interpretación del héroe trágico de Verdi. Dávila cargó con altos kilates el peso del que es considerado uno de los roles más retantes para cualquier tenor.
De entre las voces extraordinarias, brilla con luz propia el tenor Rafael Dávila en el patético personaje del General de origen morisco, Otello. Dávila llevó el complejo pulso de la acción dramática encarnando su personaje con una fuerza singular, sus dudas y su humanidad ante Iago.
Rafael Davila was a handsome, youthful Calàf, and he has the makings of a fine Italian dramatic tenor, with plenty of stamina and a secure top. The theater’s acoustic favors loud, dark voices with controlled vibratos, and Davila delivered plenty of that, but he also handled some nice diminuendos and tapered several phrases with care.
Davila’s virile tenor was in fine form. He brought just the right mix of dignity, vocal heft, subtlety and ken musicianship to Gustavo’s arias. Davila shaped the disguised monarch’s Baracarole with eloquence and grace. Like Pavarotti, in Gustavo’s ditty he added a skeptical laugh at the soothayer Ulrica’s prophecy of doom. Displaying reserves of stamina throughout the long and taxing role. Davila borught honeyed tones and pathos to the death scene and there was real chemistry and tension in his scenes with Wilson.