Artist of the Week: Rafael Davila

Puerto Rican Tenor Opens Northern Lights Festival in ‘Tosca’

By Francisco Salazar

As Europe gets back to performing opera productions in unique and innovative ways, the United States continues to cancel or stream performances.

However, this week the Northern Light Festival in Minnesota is taking its chances and presenting the first operatic production since the COVID-19 crisis in a new socially-distanced production of Puccini’s “Tosca.” The festival has assembled an all-star cast including the beloved and acclaimed tenor Rafael Davila.

Davila will bring his acclaimed Cavaradossi to Minnesota, a role he has performed at the Sarasota Opera, Opera San Antonio, Arizona Opera, Florida Grand Opera, and Leipzig. He was also scheduled to perform the role in Colorado, but performances were canceled due to the COVID-19 Crisis.

Critics have raved about his interpretation stating, “Tenor Rafael Davila is a superb Cavaradossi, the painter and Tosca’s lover. Davila’s robust vocals helped established his character’s endearing feelings for Tosca.”

For those not able to attend the historic performances, the Northern Light Festival will livestream the presentation.

The Puerto Rican-born tenor has performed with some of the world’s greatest houses including the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Palau de les Arts, Teatro San Carlo, Macerata Opera Festival, and Lyric Opera of Chicago. He is well known for his interpretations in the Verismo and Verdi repertoire. He is also a Grammy nominee.

During quarantine Davila was active performing in Opera Naples’ “Florida Tosca and Friends” and doing a Quarantine Concert. The tenor is scheduled to return to the Metropolitan Opera for productions of Bizet’s “Carmen” and Verdi’s “Nabucco” in 2021.


The tenor has a recording of Ariel Ramírez’s ​”Misa Criolla​” and “Cofresí”​ by Rafael Hernández

Here he is performing from “Tosca.”

Here he is in “Madama Butterfly.”


Artist of the Week