“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. He will next be heard as Verdi’s Ernani for Sarasota Opera, Cavaradossi in Tosca with Opera Memphis, returns to the Metropolitan Opera for Aida, and then heads to the Pittsburg Opera Festival for the role of Canio I Pagliacci, a role he has previously sung with Maestro Nello Santi at the Teatro San Carlo di Napoli. He will be joining the cast of Carmen next season at the Metropolitan Opera, where he will also be singing the role of Ismaele in Nabucco. In addition, Rafi makes his role debut of Samson in Samson et Dalila with Opera Colorado.
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.