Ola Rafało, a Polish-American dramatic mezzo, has been called a “vocal powerhouse” by critics, who describe her voice as “a budding next Fiorenza Cossotto”. “Ola Rafało proved to be a mezzo to watch, with a strong Stride la Vampa” said Anne Midgette, for the Washington Post. Tim Smith of the Baltimore Sun called her “A mezzo with great promise”.
Career highlights include: the title role in La Tragedie de Carmen with Syracuse Opera. Opera Times said “she established her character immediately as a seductress par excellence, and her pitch in the devious Seguidilla was incredibly accurate”. Ola sang the role of Fenena (Nabucco) with Baltimore Lyric Opera, and Opera Carolina, to great acclaim in both productions. “Rafało produced the best singing of the evening, in spite of her role being smaller.”– Opera Lively. Ola has performed Fricka in Die Walküre with the Lyric Orchestra, the title role in Bizet’s Carmen of with New Jersey Verismo Opera, Azucena in Il Trovatore with Opera Forza, Charlotte in Werther with Martha Cardona Opera, highlights from Samson et Dalila with the Springfield Symphony, and Alkmene (Mother of Herakles) in the Olympic Torch, a modern Greek Opera by P. Karousos.
Career concert highlights include: Carnegie Hall as the Alto soloist in Vivaldi’s Gloria, The Essential Verdi Gala at the Kennedy Center, with the Washington chorus, in scenes as Azucena and Amneris. Rafało sang De Falla’s El Amor Brujo with the Pacific Symphony, with a “fine dusky quality”-L.A. Times. And returned to sing highlights from Carmen. Other concert credits include Gulfshore opera, under Maestro Paul Nadler, and her recent concert debut in Italy at the Teatro Curci di Barletta.
Ms. Rafało is American and Polish, and fluent in both languages. She 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. In 2016 Ola received a Giulietta Simionato Career Grant from Altamura-Caruso Foundation for Performing Arts. Ola was awarded both the Audience Choice Prize, and the Fourth Prize, at the 2015 Young Patronesses of Opera competition. In 2009, she won the audience prize at the Met National Council Auditions, SE chapter. In 2008 she received First Prize in the Sherrill Milnes Opera Idol competition.
This season includes: Verdi Gala at the Altamura Center for performing arts, a “World Peace” Concert tour of Poland, the role of the Mother in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, (Orlando Opera), Soloist in the Carnaval Gala with the Paderewski Symphony, Brahms: Alto Rhapsody and De Falla’s El Amor Brujo, (Miami Chamber Orchestra), Olga in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin (Opera theatre du Metz).