In Tribute: Rafael Rojas

We were deeply saddened to hear of the death of tenor Rafael Rojas on 19 January at the age of 59.

Born in 1963, Rafael studied at the RNCM between 1994 and 1996, performing the title roles in Roberto Devereux and Ernani.

After winning the Domingo Prize at the 1995 Operalia Competition, he was invited to sing El Gato Montes with Washington Opera, with further engagements taking him to Seattle Opera, New York City Opera, New Israeli Opera, and Boston Lyric Opera.

Following graduation, Rafael went on to sing at the Houston Grand Opera, and in 1999 made his European début at the Bregenz Festival as Gustavo in Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera. This was swiftly followed by débuts with English National Opera, Opera Zuid, and Opera Australia. He also sang at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Welsh National Opera, Opera North, Oper Leipzig, New Zealand Opera, Semperoper Dresden, and Oper Graz.

Rafael performed extensively on the concert platform, under the batons of Kent Nagano with the Hallé, Mariss Jansons with the Pittsburgh Symphony‚ and David Shallon with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. He gained international acclaim singing works by Puccini and Verdi, with signature roles including Dick Johnson in La Fanciulla del West, Rodolfo in La Boheme, Radames in Aida, Manrico in Il Trovatore, Cavaradossi in Tosca, and Duca in Rigoletto.

19 January 2022