Florida Grand Opera Favorite Rafael Davila takes over leading tenor role in Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera, opening at FGO April 29
Puerto Rican tenor Rafael Davila will assume the role of Gustavo in Florida Grand Opera’s production of Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera, opening April 29 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County’s Ziff Ballet Opera House.
Davila replaces the originally cast Brazilian tenor Martin Muehle, who withdrew from the production for personal reasons.
Florida Grand Opera audiences last heard Davila in the late fall, when he sang Don José in Carmen, directed by Bernard Uzan and conducted by Ramón Tebar. The South Florida Classical Review praised his “impassioned lyricism.”
In January, Davila found himself in New York, under contract to cover one of the Met’s star tenors, Marcelo Alvarez, again as Don José. When Alvarez came down with a respiratory infection and withdrew only ninety minutes before curtain time on January 19, Davila succeeded him, making a hugely successful Met debut. He sang the role for three subsequent Met performances.
He earned a rave review from Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim in The New York Times, who praised his “robust and hot-blooded performance, undaunted by the house or the circumstances.”
“He was especially convincing in his character’s impetuous and anguished utterances,” the Times continued, “which he emphasized with an appealing plangent ping…judging from the audience’s reaction, Mr. Davila will return, with his name printed in the program.”
Davila has sung at many of the world’s leading opera houses, including Washington National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Teatro San Carlo in Naples, New Zealand Opera, and Opera de Bilbao. He specializes in many of the classic Italian leading roles, among them, Des Grieux in Manon Lescaut, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Dick Johnson in La Fanciulla del West and Don Alvaro in La Forza del Destino.
“We are delighted to have Rafael Davila return to Florida Grand Opera,” said the company’s General Director and CEO Susan T. Danis. “And we are deeply proud that he followed his triumphant appearance as FGO’s Don José with his great success at the Met in the same role.”
Davila made his Florida Grand Opera debut in the 2014-15 season, as Cavaradossi in Tosca. He will perform in FGO’s Ballo on April 29, May 2, and May 6 at Miami’s Arsht Center and on May 11 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts’ Au-Rene Theater in Fort Lauderdale.