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  Tenors: Rafael Rojas - Reviews
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Turandot‚ Opera North
The Arts Desk (May 2017)


'Rafael Rojas as Calaf is an impetuous‚ headstrong joy‚ his high register unchallenged by Puccini’s louder tuttis.'

Turandot‚ Opera North
The Spectator (May 2017)


'In fact‚ if you wanted a purely musical case for opera in concert‚ you’d struggle to find a stronger one. Armstrong combined surging momentum with long-breathed phrases‚ over which Orla Boylan’s Turandot and Rafael Rojas’s Calaf soared with fiery intensity. '

Turandot‚ Opera North
The Times (May 2017)


'In the latter department‚ Boylan’s turbo-charged Turandot and Rafael Rojas’s full-blooded Calaf duelled thrillingly for the shake-the-chandeliers prize...'

Turandot‚ Opera North
What’s On Stage (May 2017)


'Rafael Rojas‚ a celebrated star at Opera North and a shortlisted candidate in last year’s WhatsOnStage Opera Poll for his magisterial Andrea Chénier‚ is in sensational voice as Calaf. Why the Mexican tenor is not a regular in London defies all common sense‚ for meanwhile Europe and the north of England eats him up. The score’s roaring high notes are loud and secure; "Nessun dorma" is given meaning and subtext.'

Turandot‚ Opera North
BachTrack.com (April 2017)


'Tenor Rafael Rojas was breathtaking as Calaf‚ as he was in January last year in the title role of Andrea Chénier‚ top notes sweet and pure‚ everything calculated‚ never going too far. His seemingly effortless “Nessun Dorma” in Act 3 was thrilling‚ eclipsing the Pavarotti recording which must have been in most minds. His riddle scene with Orla Boylan as the Princess was particularly gripping.'

Turandot‚ Opera North
Seen and Heard International (April 2017)


'That said‚ he characterised his turmoil well‚ helped by a wonderfully expressive face and posture. Today ‘Nessun Dorma’ comes saddled with so much extra-operatic baggage and classical musical heritage (Pavarotti et al) that it could seem an unenviable task to sing it. Rojas didn’t seem the least phased by this historical weight‚ bringing to it passion and sincerity. I expect I wasn’t the only one to get goosebumps.'

Turandot‚ Opera North
The Guardian (April 2017)


'It is left to Rafael Rojas’s Calaf to win her with his irresistibly burnished voice‚ and an impeccably tasteful delivery of Nessun dorma that demands room for a fourth tenor on the podium.'

Turandot‚ Opera North
The Telegraph (April 2017)


'That most reliable and resourceful of tenors Rafael Rojas makes a heroic Calaf whose “Nessun dorma” transcends the Pavarotti cliché. '

Aida‚ Nationaltheater Mannheim
Opera Magazine (March 2017)


'Rojas gave evidence of a youthful‚ focused sound and plenty of stamina.'

Aida‚ Nationaltheater Mannheim
BachTrack.com (November 2016)


'Ihr zur Seite stand Rafael Rojas‚ der dem jungen Radamès zunächst mit lyrisch geführtem Tenor in „Celeste Aida“ viel Sanftheit verlieh‚ um sich endlich im Fortissimo mit dramatischer Durchschlagskraft zu seiner Liebe zu bekennen. Die Wandlung vom naiven Außenseiter zum gefeierten Helden wusste er dabei großartig umzusetzen.///She was joined by Rafael Rojas‚ who gave the young Radamès a lot of gentleness with a lyrically conducted tenor in "Celeste Aida"‚ to finally confess to his love in the Fortissimo with dramatic punch. He knew how to convert the naive outsider to the celebrated hero.'

Aida‚ Nationaltheater Mannheim
Frankfurter Rundschau (October 2016)


'Zwischen ihnen der etwas stimmzartere‚ aber mit schönem Stehvermögen ausgestattete mexikanische Gasttenor Rafael Roja als erfahrener Radames. /// Between them‚ the Mexican-born Gasttenor Rafael Roja‚ who is somewhat more enthusiastic‚ but with a nice stamina‚ is an experienced Radames. '

Aida‚ Nationaltheater Mannheim
Morgenweb.de (October 2016)


'Rafael Rojas‚ der einen starken und beseelten jugendlich-dramatischen Radamès singt ///...Rafael Rojas‚ who sings a strong and enlivened youthful dramatic Radamès...'

Aida‚ Nationaltheater Mannheim
nmz online (October 2016)


'Die einzigen beiden Nichtdebütanten Rafael Rojas als mühelos einschmeichelnder Radames und Jorge Lagunes als entschieden fordernder Amonasro spielen ihre Rollenerfahrungen voll aus. ///The only two non debutants Rafael Rojas as effortlessly ingratiating Radames and Jorge Lagunes as a decidedly demanding Amonasro play their roles to the full.'

Turandot‚ Bregenz Festival
Opera Magazine (October 2016)


'the cast on the first night was uniformly strong. Calaf was Rafael Rojas‚ most recently heard in Britain as Opera North’s Andrea Chénier earlier this year (he will sing Calaf for Opera North in April and May). His was a powerful intelligent reading of the prince‚ vocally expressive and completely secure - musically refined as well as dramatically involving‚ and mercifully free of ham-acting. '

Turandot‚ Bregenz Festival
Merkur.de (August 2016)


'Rafael Rojas muss sich als Calaf erst vokal justieren‚ ist aber spätestens beim „Nessun dorma“ in Prachtform. /// Rafael Rojas has to adjust only vocally as Calaf‚ but is the latest "Nessun dorma" in superb form.'

Turandot‚ Bregenz Festival
Mark Ronan.com (July 2016)


'In this intriguing set-up Rafael Rojas as Calaf sang a noble tenor‚ enchanted by the entrance of the ice-princess who clearly inspires his ardent yearning and subsequent solution to her riddles. '

Turandot‚ Bregenz Festival
OpernNetz (July 2016)


' Neu ist Rafael Rojas als Calaf‚ er liefert die Figur etwas rustikal beginnend mit viel Kraft aber auch mit mühelosen Höhen ab /// What is new is Rafael Rojas as Calaf‚ it provides the figure somewhat rustic starting with a lot of power but also with effortless altitudes. '

Turandot‚ Bregenz Festival
ORF (July 2016)


' Viel Jubel gab es auch für Rafael Rojas als Kalaf///Much jubilation there was for Rafael Rojas as Calaf '

Turandot‚ Bregenz Festival
Südwest Presse (July 2016)


'Vor allem Rafael Rojas als Prinz Calaf... /// Rafael Rojas especially convinces as Prince Calaf...'

Andrea Chénier‚ Opera North
Opera Magazine (March 2016)


'Rafael Rojas‚ another whose talents have graced Leeds on several occasions‚ certainly took his vocal chances as Chénier whenever they came‚ not least in his Improvviso building up a head of steam‚ from musings on nature to lambasting toffs for their heartless disregard of the poor. Here as elsewhere his resonance was rock-solid throughout his range‚ though he remained physically impassive until his final duet with Annemarie Kremer’s Maddalena. Both had kept something in reserve for what was an irresistibly electric finale.'

Andrea Chénier‚ Opera North
What’sOnStage.com (February 2016)


'...the role requires a grand tenor with a powerful stage presence and a handsome‚ tireless voice – and in Rafael Rojas this production has one. The Mexican has unmistakable hints of fellow-countryman Plácido Domingo in his pomp‚ yet he’s his own man and he gives the show its triumphant figurehead'

Andrea Chénier‚ Opera North
BachTrack.com (January 2016)


'Andrea Chénier (Rafael Rojas) ...when Rojas fills the stage with a breathtaking “Un di all’azzurro spazio”‚ avoiding the excesses sometimes associated with verismo arias‚ never sacrificing legato‚ topmost notes sweet‚ pure and passionate‚ as indeed they were in his appearance on the same stage two years ago in Puccini’s La fanciulla del Westas the bandit Ramerrez. He dominates throughout‚ apparently effortlessly...a wonderful delivery of the duet “Vicino a te s’acquesta” which is given all the romantic intensity it requires'

Andrea Chénier‚ Opera North
Critics’ Circle (January 2016)


'I leave till last the title role‚ always the challenge of this marvellous opera – with its string of tenor opportunities familiar to all who fancy Italianate heldentenor form (Jon Vickers in an early Italian Arias LP‚ and Franco Corelli devastatingly at his best on EMI with the complete opera). Rafael Rojas was the linchpin of this terrific achievement‚ stylish‚ thrilling‚ meaningful‚ elegant in his acting and in his musicianship. This is a very good voice well worth hearing. But above all Rojas knows with what blessing Giordano’s arias are endowing him and gives them perfect intensity and roundness. Especially the first aria gripped me totally‚ made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. Illica uses the actual poet’s words and Rojas inspired us with their meaning. Beautiful‚ exciting and transforming: the character fixed for whatever fate throws at him‚ the opera made real as it should be'

Andrea Chénier‚ Opera North
Guardian (January 2016)


'Rafael Rojas‚ Annemarie Kremer and Robert Hayward give riveting performances...Rafael Rojas has been Opera North’s go-to verismo tenor in recent seasons‚ excelling in Tosca‚ Madame Butterfly and The Girl of the Golden West and surpassing himself here. His first act exposition on the sufferings of the poor unfolded thrillingly from lyrical pity to fulminating anger‚ the voice ringing clear and true in every register'

Andrea Chénier‚ Opera North
Observer on Sunday (January 2016)


'Their aristocratic insouciance is contrasted by the tuneful integrity and cussedness of the poet Andrea Chénier himself. Tall‚ dark and handsome and in a fantastic‚ almost floor-length‚ tailored grey overcoat‚ Rafael Rojas sings with unruffled dignity. He is a beautifully seasoned tenor‚ and a man not about to lose his cool to any trundling tumbrel. He does a sublime line in reproaching the gilded household for their failure to understand what it means to be a poet. And‚ when he falls in love with Maddalena‚ his voice takes off – his gallantry transcendent'

Andrea Chénier‚ Opera North
ON Magazine Yorkshire (January 2016)


'Rojas gives a powerful and moving performance as the stricken Chénier‚ loving his country‚ hating the injustices‚ but appalled by the horrors that have been unleashed. His voice is strong and resonant‚ and his love duet with Maddalena di Coigny is truly beautiful'

Andrea Chénier‚ Opera North
Scarborough News (January 2016)


'Pick up the phone now‚ dial Leeds Grand and book a ticket to see Opera North’s Andre Chenier – it is that good...the major feature of the evening was some astonishing singing: cast and chorus were extremely strong...Immediately the Mexican tenor Rafael Rojas as Chenier launched into his first aria we knew we were in for something special...the audience demanded the right to stop the action and applaud fine performances'

Andrea Chénier‚ Opera North
Telegraph (January 2016)


'Rafael Rojas‚ a Mexican tenor with a tang of his compatriot Domingo in his vocal timbre‚ makes a warmly noble Chénier‚ singing with admirable steadiness and clarity. This is Opera North at its imaginative and resourceful best – a thrilling evening that richly deserved its enthusiastic reception'

Andrea Chénier‚ Opera North
The Stage (January 2016)


'Rafael Rojas certainly seizes his opportunities as Chenier‚ a star part demanding vibrant Latin lyricism and fluent acting'

Andrea Chénier‚ Opera North
York Press (January 2016)


'Rafael Rojas certainly takes his vocal chances as Chénier‚ notably in his Improvviso‚ tearing strips off the toffs for their heartless disregard of the poor. His tenor is rock-solid throughout his range‚ though he remains physically impassive until his final duet with Annemarie Kremer’s Maddalena. Both keep something in reserve for this irresistibly electric finale. Their little caper of ecstasy in anticipation of the scaffold is a typical Arden touch'

Andrea Chénier‚ Opera North
Yorkshire Post (January 2016)


'If you only see one opera this year‚ make sure you do not miss one of the four remaining performances of Opera North’s outstanding new production of Giordano’s highly charged drama‚ Andrea Chenier...Giordano calls for a large cast to weave the story around the arias given to the main protagonists‚ and in the generous and robust voice of Rafael Rojas‚ you could not wish to hear a more passionate Chenier'

Turandot‚ Bregenz Festival
New York Times (August 2015)


'In Turandot Calaf (the tenor Rafael Rojas‚ sounding tenderly intimate even in these daunting surroundings)‚ with his neat mustache and ’20s suit‚ closely resembles Puccini‚ triumphing over death at the end'

Madama Butterfly‚ Oper Stuttgart
Concerto.net (December 2014)


'Le ténor mexicain Rafael Rojas dessine‚ de sa voix solaire et sonore‚ un Pinkerton assez conventionnel‚ avec un chant impressionnant de facilité /// The Mexican tenor Rafael Rojas draws‚ its solar and sonorous voice ‚ a rather conventional Pinkerton‚ with an impressive vocal ease'

Tosca‚ Staatsoper Hannover
Hannoveriche Allgemeine haz.de (October 2014)


'...strahlend-schönem Tenor: Rafael Rojas // ...bright-beautiful tenor Rafael Rojas'

La fanciulla del West‚ Opera North
BachTrack.com (January 2014)


'Mexican tenor Rafael Rojas plays Mexican bandit Ramerrez‚ a musical relative of Cavaradossi. His powerful‚ rather sweet and sentimental tones are just right for the passionate love scene with Minnie...Rojas has his magic moments with the only real showstopper – “Ch’ella mì creda libero” – when he pleads that Minnie must not know his fate‚ as he waits to be hoisted up by the vicious sheriff. This is hair-raisingly effective‚ truly memorable'

La fanciulla del West‚ Opera North
Financial Times (January 2014)


'Rafael Rojas’s tastefully sung Dick Johnson makes an outlaw of uncommon dignity'

La fanciulla del West‚ Opera North
Guardian (January 2014)


'Rafael Rojas gives Dick Johnson a nice mix of machismo and self-pitying sentimentality'

La fanciulla del West‚ Opera North
Seen & Heard International.com (January 2014)


'Both baritone Robert Hayward as Jack Rance‚ and tenor Rafael Rojas as Dick Johnson‚ perfectly matched her and refused to be vocally outgunned. At climactic moments all three of them were able to blast their top notes over Puccini’s unforgiving orchestration. The men acted well...Rafael Rojas‚ (who‚ as a Mexican‚ has good bandit credentials) as Johnson is converted from dangerous robber to weak kneed lover for the same reason'

La fanciulla del West‚ Opera North
Telegraph (January 2014)


'Ramerrez is the authentically Mexican tenor Rafael Rojas‚ rather dapper for an outlawed bandit‚ but vibrant in tone and secure in shaping Puccini’s expansive phrases'

La fanciulla del West‚ Opera North
The Arts Desk.com (January 2014)


'Best is Rafael Rojas’s Dick Johnson – an engaging stage presence‚ a rogue you’re willing to forgive'

La fanciulla del West‚ Opera North
The Stage (January 2014)


'Johnson - who turns out to be the disguised bandit Ramerrez‚ eventually redeemed by the love of a good woman - is perfectly realised by Rafael Rojas‚ whose top notes thrill as they must'

La fanciulla del West‚ Opera North
York Press (January 2014)


'...he sings with more flair than ever before on this stage‚ while making a sympathetic Johnson'

Un ballo in maschera‚ Staatsoper Hannover
Weser Kurier (September 2013)


'Rafael Rojas sang sich als Riccardo mühelos an die Spitze des Sängerensembles. Ein Tenor mit ausgesprochen schönem Timbre‚ eine mit viel Schmelz und Strahlkraft geführte Stimme /// Rafael Rojas sang Riccardo effortlessly to the top of Soloists. A tenor with a very nice timbre‚ a guided very creamy and radiant voice'

Un ballo in maschera‚ Staatstheater Hannover
Online Musik Magazin.de (September 2013)


'Rafael Rojas lässt einen kraftvollen‚ aber nicht kraftprotzenden‚ echten Verdi-Tenor mit Strahlkraft und angenehmem Timbre hören und kann auch den hier als Vecchio dargestellten Riccardo überzeugend gestalten... Ein Opernabend auf musikalisch und sängerisch hohem Niveau'

Rigoletto‚ New Zealand Opera
Dominion Post (May 2012)


'Tenor Rafael Rojas and baritone Warwick Fyfe‚ as the Duke of Mantua and Rigoletto respectively‚ renew their partnership from last year’s I Pagliacci‚ to even greater effect. What a marvelously self- indulgent Duke we heard from Rojas‚ and what a splendidly confident‚ ringing‚ tenor voice he has! He suited the opulent setting of the opening to perfection'

Rigoletto‚ New Zealand Opera
National Business Review (May 2012)


'Rafael Rojas as the duke sang gloriously as the laidback hedonist with just the right mix of bravado and self-awareness. In his role as Gilda’s lover his voice took on an elegant combination of romanticism and cynicism which helped create a fully rounded disreputable character'

Rigoletto‚ New Zealand Opera
New Zealand Listener (May 2012)


'Warwick Fyfe and Rafael Rojas‚ as Rigoletto and the Duke respectively‚ are utterly commanding in vocal and dramatic interpretation and powerful projection...This production‚ under the supple‚ impassioned musical direction of Wyn Davies‚ has so many strengths it is a must-see. In many decades of opera-going‚ I have rarely felt such complete delight in every aspect of a production'

Norma‚ Staatsoper Stuttgart
GB Opera Magazine (Italy) (December 2011)


'Il tenore messicano Rafael Rojas ha una voce di buon timbro e di consistenza adatta al ruolo di Pollione'

Pagliacci‚ New Zealand Opera
Gay NZ.com (September 2011)


'So it was with this strong‚ skilled cast and within a significantly more interesting story that Canio himself‚ well played by Rafael Rojas from Mexico‚ delivered the aria of the evening with a tearful heat-breaking performance of love and loss in the arias of all arias‚ Vesti la guibba‚ with such vocal force and ardor that I swear it loosened a shower of plaster dust from the proscenium and all but achieved a standing ovation. It was thrilling'

Pagliacci‚ New Zealand Opera
New Zealand Herald (September 2011)


'When we come to Pagliacci’s play-within-a-play‚ it comes off brilliantly‚ as the singers have sketched their real-life characters so well. Rafael Rojas’ blustering Canio is a small-town Othello revealing his vulnerability in a breathtaking Vesti la Giubba'

Pagliacci‚ New Zealand Opera
Theatre Review.org.nz (September 2011)


'Pagliacci’s (Rafael Rojas) first act close‚ ‘Vesti la guibba’ is one of the classics of opera and last night we could have been in any opera house in the world. First rate‚ top class‚ spellbinding‚ I defy anyone to come away from Pagliacci unmoved...Rafael Rojas as Canio/Pagliacci fills the stage with voice‚ body and character'

Pagliacci‚ New Zealand Opera
Dominion Post (August 2011)


'The tenors are equally superb...Rafael Rojas as Canio/Pagliacci not only has a fine voice as well‚ but sings up a storm‚ with an impassioned Vesta la Giubba'

Pagliacci‚ New Zealand Opera
National Business Review (August 2011)


'...superbly realised...Rafael Rojas as Canio the brutal husband'

Pagliacci‚ New Zealand Opera
Stuff.co.nz (August 2011)


'Pagliacci is a heaven-sent score full of emotional complexity and drama‚ here revealed with marvellous fervour by Rafael Rojas'

Otello‚ Saarländisches Staatstheater
Saarbrucker Zeitung (May 2010)


'Und noch dazu wird Otello bravourös gesungen:
Rafael Rojas hat exakt das richtige Feuer und Beweglichkeit für diese Partie (And as well as all this‚ Otello is sung with bravura: Rafael Rojas has exactly the right level of fire and expression for this role)'

’Night at the Opera’‚ Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Glasgow Herald (January 2010)


'...tenor Rafael Rojas and soprano Linda Richardson in devastating form for the finale to Act One of Puccini’s La Boheme‚ a great triple-whammy of an emotional belly punch where the two singers‚ accompanied by the Orchestra of Scottish Opera‚ extracted every ounce of juice out of Puccini’s masterfully-manipulative tear-jerker'

Un ballo in maschera‚ Opera Holland Park
Whats On Stage.com (July 2009)


'...this is a powerful and vibrant voice which‚ combined with alert acting skills‚ made for a credible president'

Tosca‚ Opera North
The Leeds Guide (October 2008)


'`Rafael Rojas‚ reprising his role as Cavaradossi‚ whose every note portrays either his devotion as Tosca’s lover or his zeal as the revolutionary sympathiser. It is difficult to imagine the ’Letter Aria’ in Act 2 having any greater emotional involvement than his‚ a truly vocal tour-de-force that would be worth the price of a seat by itself'

Tosca‚ Opera North
Yorkshire Evening Post (October 2008)


'...Rafael Rojas and Robert Hayward were brilliant in their respective parts‚ in fact they were faultless...'

Tosca‚ Opera North
Yorkshire Post (October 2008)


'The singing is miraculous - Rafael Rojas the ideal Cavaradossi'

Tosca‚ Opera North
Guardian (September 2008)


'Rafael Rojas reprises his Cavaradossi and is ringingly fine'

Tosca‚ Opera North
Times (September 2008)


'Rafael Rojas’s cowering and notably unheroic (but passionately sung) Cavaradossi.'

Il Trovatore‚ Opera Holland Park
Guardian (June 2008)


'The best of this bunch‚ in the role of Manrico the eponymous troubadour‚ is the Mexican tenor Rafael Rojas'

Il Trovatore‚ Opera Holland Park
Observer (June 2008)


'Rafael Rojas’s macho‚ thrilling Manrico '

Il Trovatore‚ Opera Holland Park
This is London.co.uk (June 2008)


'...Rafael Rojas‚ impressive as Manrico'

Madama Butterfly‚ Opera North
Manchester Evening News (November 2007)


'The greatest strength of this production was the casting...and Rafal Rojas just about the best Pinkerton I’ve ever seen'

Madama Butterfly‚ Opera North
Independent (September 2007)


'Rafael Rojas’s Pinkerton‚ puppyish and resolutely oblivious to his temporary wife’s culture‚ combines suavity of sound with smoothness of character.'

Madama Butterfly‚ Opera North
Times online (September 2007)


'Pinkerton - a suitably brash performance by the Mexican tenor Rafael Rojas‚ who helpfully has something of Clark Gable’s devil-may-care demeanour about him'

Rigoletto‚ Opera North
Yorkshire Post (May 2007)


'The Mexican tenor Rafael Rojas was Il Duca‚ a commanding and scorching voice'

Il Trovatore‚ Opera North
Musical Pointers (November 2006)


'Rafael Rojas may have been got up to look like a playboy rather past his best‚ but his voice was in fine shape'

Rigoletto‚ Opera North
Morning Star (October 2006)


'Rafael Rojas as Il Duca‚ was also superb. He managed to make that old pot-boiler La Donna sound as fresh as when it first astounded the audiences of Venice over a century-and-a-half ago'

Rigoletto‚ Opera North
Herald (June 2006)


'Rafael Rojas was a magnificently powerful tenor in the true Italian style'

La Rondine‚ Opera North
MusicOMH.com (May 2006)


'Mexican tenor Rafael Rojas‚ who plays her lover Ruggero Lastouc...there was genuine chemistry between them and their duets were sympathetic and rather touching. Here’s a meaty tenor voice‚ and one to watch: he has an Italianate tone and a very giving approach to singing'

La Rondine‚ Opera North
Stage (March 2006)


'Rafael Rojas‚ the new Ruggero‚ deploys a confident tenor‚ warm at the top‚ with considerable refinement...fittingly catches the youth’s naivety and passion and compliments Magda’s greater reticence'

La Rondine‚ opera North
Times online (March 2006)


'...rapturous duets with Rafael Rojas’s Ruggero‚ Magda’s new capture and hope. Looks and gait don’t quite suggest a young man from the provinces‚ but Rojas isn’t afraid of D flat in his Act III duet‚ and his fury in discovering that his bird has other nests is genuine'

Turandot‚ Welsh National Opera
Guardian (September 2004)


'Tenor Rafael Rojas...a Calaf of dignity and bearing‚ with a Nessun Dorma to match'

Tosca‚ Opera New Zealand
OperaCritic.com (October 2003)


'...the Mexican tenor brought a glowing and very Latin passion to everything he sang'