Ola Rafało, a 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 the
Washington Post, of The Washington Chorus’ Essential Verdi concert
2014, at the Kennedy Center. There, Rafało was featured in scenes as
Azucena, and Amneris. “A Mezzo with great promise”, Tim Smith,
Baltimore Sun (Nabucco, Opera Baltimore 2014).
During the 2013-14 season, Ola debuted the title role in
La Tragedie de Carmen with Syracuse Opera, to great acclaim.
Opera Times said that she “established her character immediately
as a seductress par excellence, and her pitch in the devious
Seguidilla was incredibly accurate — with no sign of seams when
navigating through vocal registers during the spacious octave leaps
that permeate this demanding aria.” Ola triumphed at Carnegie Hall
as the Alto soloist in Vivaldi’s Gloria. She was featured in De Falla’s
El Amor Brujo with the Pacific Symphony, which she sang with a
“fine dusky quality”-L.A. Times. Ola also sang in the Essential Verdi
Gala at the Kennedy Center, and in a “Pop-opera concert” with
Opera Tampa. Rafało closed the season with her debut at Baltimore
Lyric Opera as Fenena in Nabucco.
In the 2014-2015 season, Ola reprised the role of Fenena (Nabucco)
with Opera Carolina, again to great acclaim. “Rafało produced the
best singing of the evening, in spite of her role being smaller. Ola
has a very powerful instrument and uses it with good technique,
producing her notes with a great deal of precision. She has a very
pleasant timbre an her passaggio is smooth with perfect pitch control.
She started up already warm and didn’t miss a beat or a note. "
– Luiz Gazzola of Opera Lively. Ola returned to the Pacific
Symphony to sing the title role highlights from Carmen in concert.
She was featured in another Verdi Gala, singing selections from
Il Trovatore, and the Verdi Requiem with Gulfshore opera,
under Maestro Paul Nadler.
In 2015-2016, Ola sang the title role in Bizet’s Carmen with
New Jersey Verismo Opera, debuted the role of Azucena in
Il Trovatore with Opera Forza, and the role of Charlotte in Werther
with Martha Cardona Opera, at the Kaufman Center. Ola returned
to Gulfshore Opera for the Legends of Opera Gala featuring
Samuel Ramey. She also was featured in concert with the
Springfield Symphony, singing highlights from Samson et Dalila,
and concerts with Manhattan Lyric Opera. This spring Ola made
her debut performance in Italy, singing in a concert at
Teatro Curci di Barletta, with Maestro Roberto Corliano.
Ola recieved an award from UNESCO for her performance
in the role of Alkmene in the Olympic Torch ,
(a modern Greek opera by P. Karousos).
In 2016-2017, Miss Rafalo was featured in a Verdi gala
at the Altamura Center for the performing arts, followed
by a "world peace" concert tour of Poland. Miss Rafalo
debuted the role of the Mother in Menotti’s
Amahl and the Night Visitors, (Orlando Opera), and sang
many concerts including with the Summit Symphony (arias),
and the Paderewski Symphony (Karnaval Concert).
She joined international superstar bass: Andrea Silvestrelli
for a very successful duo recital at FermiLab auditorium in Chicago.
This current season of 2017-2018 Miss Rafalo won the
Second Prize of the Altamura-Caruso Competition, which
will take her to Osimo Italy for a performance at the Teatro
Nuova Fenice in August. This season Ola performed with a
new opera company in Orlando: Opera del Sol, in a unique
production combining theatre, opera, dance, circus, and
other elements entitled Opera Wars. She also joined the
Paderewski Symphony once again to perform the American
premiere of the Poniatowski Mass, an important work of
Polish history and music. Ola will return to Gulfshore Opera
this season to perform the role of Maddalena in Rigoletto,
and to be featured in concerts.
Ms. Rafało, as a child of Polish immigrants to the U.S., is
fluent in Polish, English and Italian. She carries dual passports
for the U.S. and Poland, making her a natural interpreter of
the slavic repertoire, in roles such as Olga in Eugene Onegin,
Konchakovna in Prince Igor, Pollina in Queen of Spades,
Ioanna in Orleanskaya Deva, and Jadwiga inStraszny Dwor.
Other roles in her diverse repertoire include Adalgisa in Norma,
and Giovanna Seymour in Anna Bolena.
Other career highlights include: Ola's performance as Fricka
in Die Walküre, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, and the title
role of Carmen with the Lyric Orchestra. 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 Ola was awarded the
Fourth Prize and the Audience choice award from the Young
Patronesses of Opera Competition. She has also been awarded
a career grant in the name of Giulietta Simionato 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.