Ola Rafało, Polish-American mezzo has been called a "Vocal Powerhouse", and "a Budding next Cossotto", by critics.
“Ola Rafało proved to be a mezzo to watch, with a strong Stride la Vampa” said Anne Midgette, for theWashington Post, of The Washington Chorus’ Essential Verdi concert 2014, at the Kennedy Center, where Rafało was featured in scenes as Azucena, and Amneris.
“A Mezzo with great promise”, Tim Smith, Baltimore Sun (Nabucco, Opera Baltimore 2014).
2019-2020 engagements include Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana with Opera Forza in New York City, Ola’s debut with Chicago Opera theatre as the Old Gypsy in Aleko, her debut with the Israel Philharmonic as Emilia in Verdi’s Otello under Maestro Gianandrea Noseda, a recital with the prestigious Dame Myrna Hess Memorial concert series in Chicago, and a solo recital presented by the Wagner Society of America entitled: Goddesses and Mortals. Later this season Ola will perform Brangaene in Die Walkure with the Eugene Symphony, as well as the alto soloist in Beethoven Symphony 9 with the Evanston symphony Orchestra.
Other career highlights include the title role in La Tragedie de Carmen with Syracuse Opera, to great acclaim, as well as the title role in Bizet’s Carmen in several productions: New Jersey Verismo Opera, Gulfshore Opera, Lyric Orchestra, and Carmen highlights with the Pacific Symphony. She was also featured in several productions as Fenena in Nabucco (Baltimore Lyric Opera, Opera Carolina), “Rafało produced the best singing of the evening, in spite of her role being smaller. "– Luiz Gazzola of Opera Lively. Ola has performed the role of Azucena in Il Trovatore with Opera Forza, the role of Charlotte in Werther with Martha Cardona Opera, at the Kaufman Center, the Mother in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, Orlando Opera, Maddalena in Rigoletto, Gulfshore Opera, and created the prima donna role in a unique production combining theatre, opera, dance, and circus, entitled Opera Wars with Opera del Sol. Ola received an award from UNESCO for her performance as the role of Alkmene in the Olympic Torch,(a modern Greek opera by P. Karousos). Ola also sang Fricka in Die Walküre, and Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, with the Lyric Orchestra.
Other Concert highlights include Carnegie Hall as the Alto soloist in Vivaldi’s Gloria, as well as soloist in De Falla’s El Amor Brujo with the Pacific Symphony,which she sang with a “fine dusky quality”-L.A. Times. Ola has sung many galas including; Gulfshore Opera Legends of Opera featuring Samuel Ramey., Springfield Symphony’s Arabian nights, as well as concerts in Italy at Teatro Curci in the province of Bari. She joined the Paderewski symphony several times for their and Karnaval Concert, and the American premier of the Poniatowski Mass, an important work of Polish history and art.
Ms. Rafało carries dual passports for the U.S. and Poland, and speaks fluent English, Italian, Polish. Making her also a natural interpreter slavic repertoire, in roles such as Olga in Eugene Onegin, Konchakovna in Prince Igor, Pollina in Queen of Spades, and Jadwiga in Straszny Dwor. Other roles in her diverse repertoire include Venus in Tannhauser, and Dalilah in Samson et Dalilah.
Miss Rafało was an apprentice artist at Sarasota Opera, where she received the Leo M.Rogers award, as well as a young artist at Opera Tampa, and Palm Beach Opera. Ola is the 2nd prize winner of the 2017 Altamura-Caruso competition. In 2015 she won Fourth Prize and the Audience choice award from the Young Patronesses of Opera Competition. She has been awarded the Giulietta Simionato career grant from the Inter-city Arts foundation. In 2009, she was awarded the audience prize at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Southeast chapter. In 2008, she was awarded Grand Prize of the Elgin Opera competition and First Prize of the Sherrill Milnes Opera Idol competition.