Mezzo-soprano Ola Rafalo brought a fine dusky quality to the vocal numbers in the Falla's ballet.
Velvety-toned mezzo-soprano Ola Rafalo revealed promise as Fenena, Nabucco’s daughter.
From her first entrance, Ms. Rafało grasped every musical and histrionic opportunity given to Fenena, allying her firm, plush tones to acting of girlish subtlety. In the trio with Abigaille and Ismaele in Act One, ‘Io t'amava! il regno, il cuore,’ she sang splendidly, phrasing ‘Ah! già t'invoco,… read more
...If one is born with a dramatic instrument and it is developed correctly technically, then a role like that is nothing to fear. For someone like me, repertoire that is too light can be more dangerous...
As a matter of fact she produced the best singing of the evening, in spite of her role being smaller. Ola has a very powerful mezzo-soprano instrument and she uses it with good technique, producing her notes with a great deal of precision. She has a very pleasant timbre an her passagio is smooth with… read more
Mezzo-soprano, Rafalo delivers a truly emotional aria in “Oh dischiuso è il firmament!” a mournful yet hopeful outcry to God for her martyrdom. Despite it being her only aria, Rafalo’s balance of emotions within her vocal clarity is sensational and makes her character stand out despite being… read more
Ola Rafalo proved to be a mezzo to watch, with a strong "Stride la Vampa". Kennedy Center debut Essential Verdi Concert with the Washington Chorus
A thrilling performance of Azucena’s fiery “Stride la vampa” by mezzo-soprano Ola Rafalo, whose imperious manner and dark, sultry chest voice, exploding in a ravishingly focused high G, captured the character’s passionate fury.
There is much to love in the singing here, and Ola Rafalo — singing her first-ever role of Carmen — deserves the lion’s (or should I say tigress’s) share of the credit. Rafalo’s dark and richly hued mezzo soprano during the sultry Habanera established her character immediately as a seductress… read more
In the Habanera Rafalo's execution is both subtle and powerfully seductive drawing Jose and the audience into her tale. The story continues to unfold with "Pres des remparts de Seville" : showcasing Rafalo's ability to at one moment be vulnerable and soft and the next a wild temptress. read more
The torturously tempting portrayal of female lead Carmen (Ola Rafalo) overpowered the theater from the first moment light hits her impeccable beauty. She is a gypsy with serpentine belly dancing that comments on women’s manipulative power over men through sexuality. read more
Rafalo’s voice has a richness all its own, with a tone that compels the listener to pay close attention to her. Her voice suits Carmen perfectly; it is full, sultry and quite abnormal in the most compelling way. And Rafalo certainly knows how to be sexy.
El Amor Brujo. De Falla. St.Clair and the orchestra captured the dusky sonorities prettily and mezzo-soprano Ola Rafalo sang with a creamy sultriness on high and an apt huskiness down low. Lovely.
.. mezzo-soprano Ola Rafalo, in the role of Charlotte, cut right through the orchestra's sound with her distinctive and richly textured voice. The interesting texture and generous vibrato were very much to our liking. She was outstanding in her moving third act aria "Va! Laisse couler… read more
"mezzo-soprano Ola Rafalo, who offered a dark voluptuous mezzo that carried well into the hall. Volpe, and Rafalo in particular were vocal powerhouses"
Ola Rafalo, a singer whose raw instrument is sure to warrant her a starry career, at times sounding like a budding baby Cossotto. Though her role is short, it contains some of the most graciously written passages to be found in the score, through which her dark, sultry sound rolled out through the auditorium… read more