The New York Times hailed Ashraf Sewailam’s début at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall as a “stand out performance” and Opera News described his voice as “purring and velvety with an easily produced Ramfis-like top range with a majestic tone,” and his stage presence as “strong, mysterious and with mesmerizing intensity.”
Recently, in his début with New Zealand Opera as the assassin Sparafucile in Rigoletto, he was described as “hard to better, both vocally and dramatically.” Last summer, he also performed Alidoro in La Cenerentola with Queensland Opera in Australia. Ashraf made his United States début in 2004 with Opera Colorado performing the role of Leporello in Don Giovanni . Quickly becoming a house favorite, he has subsequently performed there as Count Ceprano in Rigoletto, Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro, Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and is slated to return in 2016. This season, Mr. Sewailam appears as Leporello in Don Giovanni at Seattle Opera and San Diego Opera; Alidoro in La Cenerentola at New Zealand Opera, Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, The Narrator in Peter and the Wolf at The Boston Symphony, and a rousingperformance as Beethoven/Commendatore in Pulitzer Prize–winning composer Steven Stucky’s opera The Classical Style at Carnegie Hall, a role he recently created at Ojai Music Festival.