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, 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).
Upcoming engagements include Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana
with Opera Forza in New York City, Ola’s debut with
Chicago Opera theatre as Tsyganka in Aleko, her debut
with the Israel Philharmonic singing Emilia in Verdi's Otello under
Maestro Gianandrea Noseda, and a recital in the
prestigious Dame Myrna Hess Memorial concert series in Chicago,
broadcast on WFMT.
Other career highlights include the title role in
La Tragedie de Carmen with Syracuse Opera, to great acclaim.
Opera Times said 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.” As well as
the title role in Bizet’s Carmen in several productions: New
Jersey Verismo Opera, Gulfshore Opera, the Lyric Orchestra,
and Carmen highlights in concert 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 also
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, as well as created the principal
female role in a unique production combining theatre, opera,
dance, circus, and other elements entitled Opera Wars with
Opera del Sol. Ola received an award from UNESCO for her
performancein the role of Alkmene in the Olympic Torch,
(a modern Greek opera by P. Karousos). She sang Fricka in Die Walkure
and Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with the Lyric Orchestra.
Other Concert highlights include Carnegie Hall as the Alto
soloist in Vivaldi’s Gloria, and soloist in De Falla’s
El Amor Brujo with the Pacific Symphony, under Maestro Carl St.Clair,
which she sang with a “fine dusky quality”-L.A. Times. Ola returned to Gulfshore
Opera for the Legends of Opera Gala featuring Samuel Ramey.
She also was featured in the Arabian Nights concert with the
Springfield Symphony, as well as many Galas, with Gulfshore opera,
under Maestro Paul Nadler, and in Italy at Teatro Curci in the province
of Bari. 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.
She joined the Paderewski symphony several times for their and
Karnaval Concert, as well as the American premier of the Poniatowski Mass,
an important work of Polish history and music.
Ms. Rafało,is fluent in Polish, English and Italian. She carries dual passports
for the U.S. and Poland. She is 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 in Straszny Dwor.
Other roles in her diverse repertoire include Adalgisa in Norma, Venus in Tannhauser,
and Dalilah in Samson et Dalilah.
Miss Rafało was an apprentice artist Palm Beach Opera,
Opera Tampa, and Sarasota Opera, where
she received the Leo M.Rogers award. 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 been selected for 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.