Tenor Rafael Dávila has quickly risen to be one of the most sought after tenors of his generation. Rafael has just returned from his debut as Chevalier des Grieux in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut under Maestro Plácido Domingo’s baton in Valencia, Spain. With almost 60 roles already under his belt, last 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 Un ballo in maschera. This past season also marked his debut as Don Alvaro in La forza del destino for Washington National Opera, his debut as Dick Johnson in La fanciulla del West for Minnesota Opera, his German debut as Cavaradossi in Tosca for Leipzig Opera, a role he also sang recently for Sarasota Opera and for Florida Grand Opera last year. Mr. Dávila made his debut at the Washington National Opera as Pollione in Norma opposite Angela Meade and Dolora Zajick, as well as Radames in Aida for Manitoba Opera in Canada. 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 Mr. Dávila 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.
For Sarasota Opera, Rafael has also sang in the past years the operas; Werther, Madama Butterfly, Tosca, Cavalleria rusticana, Pagliacci, Rigoletto, Attila, Giovanna D’Arco and I Lombardi.
Future plans include his debut in Macerata, Italy next summer as Turiddu in Cavalleria rusticana, his return to Washington National Opera and Lyric Opera of Kansas City as Don José in Carmen, return to Opera de Puerto Rico as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly opposite soprano Ana María Martínez, Radames in Aida for Opera de Valencia, And his debut with Chicago Lyric Opera in the premiere of the opera Bel Canto. In the 2016-2017 season, Mr. Davila will be part of the Metropolitan Opera artist’s roster.
Abroad Dávila made his debut as Rodolfo in Puccini’s La bohème for the Netherlands Reisopera, and for the New Zealand Opera as Don Jose in Carmen and 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 the premiere of the operas Time and Again Barelas with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra and La mina de oro with the Puerto Rico Symphony.
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, Marina, and El Huesped del Sevillano; the Venezuelan zarzuela Alma Llanera; and the Cuban zarzuelas María Lao 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 Symphony No. 9, Mozart’s Coronation Mass with soprano June Anderson and Estevez’s Cantata Criolla, which he performed with The Seattle Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Gerard Schwarz. His recordings of Ariel Ramírez’s Misa Criolla as well as the 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 has been working for the past ten years with Bill Schumann in New York as his vocal coach. Mr. Davila has also appeared with L’Opéra du Montréal, Palm Beach Opera, Los Angeles 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, Martha Collins, Ron Daniels, Pippo Delbono, Anthony Laciura, John Pascoe, Ira Siff, Stephanie Sundine, Bernard Uzan and Francesca Zambello. He has also worked with some of the most renowned conductors including; Teo Alcantara, Sarah Caldwell, Anton Coppola, Plácido Domingo, Victor DeRenzi, Eugene Kohn, Renato Palumbo, Nello Santi, Massimo Zanetti and Xian Shang, among others.