Rising star Ola Rafalo has a voice that the Palm Beach Arts Paper has called “attractive, dusky, and powerful”. Her rich voice and dramatic sensibility lend themselves perfectly to the sumptuous roles ofCarmen, Eboli in Don Carlo, Amneris in Aida,and Dalila in Samson et Dalila. This season, Ola performs the title role in Peter Brook’s La Tragedie de Carmen with Syracuse Opera, the role of Fenena in Lyric Opera Baltimore’s production of Nabucco in the spring of 2014, an Essential Verdi Concert with the Washington Chorus at the Kennedy Center, and a “Popera” concert with Opera Tampa.
Recent engagements include Leonora in La Favorita with The Opera Atelier; as well as Dalila in Samson et Dalila, Fricka in Die Walküre, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, and the title role in Carmenwith the Lyric Orchestra. Ola has also appeared with Opera Tampa, Sarasota Opera, DuPage Opera Theatre, and Palm Beach Opera, where she was a member of their Young Artist Program.
Ms. Rafalo recently performed the title role in Catan’s Florencia in El Amazonas with Palm Beach Opera, in which critics said “She was believable as a person who understands the power of love and is able to impart hard-earned wisdom about it. She held the stage firmly, both vocally and dramatically.”
Other roles in Ms. Rafalo’s current repertoire include the Olga in Eugene Onegin, Maddalena in Rigoletto, Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana, Adalgisa in Norma, Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier, and Charlotte in Werther.
Ms. Rafalo has coached with opera greats such as Sherrill Milnes, Tito Capobianco, Fabrizio Melano, and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. In 2008, she was awarded Grand Prize of the Elgin Opera competition and First Prize of the Sherrill Milnes Opera Idol competition. She was also an apprentice artist at Sarasota Opera, receiving the Leo M. Rogers award, as well as an apprentice at Opera Tampa. Her concert performances have included: Saint-Saens Christmas Oratorio, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and Händel’s Messiah.