“Mr. Davila put in a robust and hot-blooded performance and 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.”
– Don José, Metropolitan Opera, Corinna da Fonseca-Wolheim for the New York Times
Puerto Rican tenor Rafael Dávila began the 2022 – 2023 season at the Metropolitan Opera singing the role of Giasone in Cherubini’s Medea opposite soprano Sandra Radvanovsky, before taking on the title role in Verdi’s Don Carlo also for the MET. This past season he was also heard as Verdi’s Ernani at Sarasota Opera, Cavaradossi in Tosca with Opera Memphis, and Radames in Verdi’s Aida at the Metropolitan Opera. This summer he joins the Pittsburg Opera Festival to perform Canio in I Pagliacci, a role he has previously sung with Maestro Nello Santi at the Teatro San Carlo in Napoli. This season he returns to the Met to sing the role of Ismaele in Nabucco, and joins the cast of Carmen. In addition, Rafi makes his role debut as Samson in Samson et Dalila with Opera Colorado, returns to Sarasota Opera as Rodolfo in Luisa Miller, and performs the role of Faust in Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust at the Casals Festival with the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra.
Last season he performed Cavaradossi in Tosca with Opera Colorado, Calaf in Turandot for the Evansville Philharmonic, Don José in Carmen for Opera de Puerto Rico opposite Puerto Rican diva Ana Maria Martinez, and returned to the Metropolitan opera for productions of Tosca and Don Carlos. Recent engagements include his debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Don José in Carmen, Des Grieux in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut for San Francisco Opera, Liceu de Barcelona and Opera de Valencia, the world-premiere of Jimmy Lopez’s Bel Canto for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Turridu in Cavalleria Rusticana and Canio in I Pagliacci at the Teatro San Carlo di Napoli and the Macerata Festival in Italy, Radames in Aida for Valencia, and his debut at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg in a Zarzuela Gala Concert.
Other notable debuts include Pollione in Norma opposite Angela Meade and Dolora Zajick for Washington National Opera, Ismaele in Nabucco for Opera de Bilbao Dick Johnson in La Fanciulla del West for Minnesota Opera, Don Alvaro in La Forza del Destino and the title role in Don Carlo for Washington National Opera, Calaf in Turandot for Opera de Puerto Rico, Lyric Opera of Chicago (cover), Manrico in Il Trovatore for Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Riccardo in Un Ballo in Maschera with Florida Grand Opera, and Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Boheme for Reisopera. He has sung the title role in Verdi’s Otello for Sarasota Opera, and Opera de Puerto Rico. Since his Metropolitan Opera debut as Don José, he has joined the company for productions of Aida, Luisa Miller, Tosca, Don Carlos, and Nabucco.
Rafael has appeared in the Zarzuelas Los Gavilanes, Luisa Fernanda, Maria La O, Cecilia Valdés, and El Huesped del Sevillano. He has been nominated two times at The Grammy Awards for the recordings of Ariel Ramírez’s Misa Criolla and Rafael Hernández’s operetta Cofresi.