Hailed for his ability to communicate “…romance and heartbreak with his soaring tenor tones,” by Broadway World and “..heroic bravado…”, “…acting chops…”, and “…irresistible mix of Italianate and Latin passion…” by Musical America Worldwide, Opera News, and Classical Voice North America respectively, tenor Rafael Moras is a rising star of the opera and classical music world whose voice, stage presence, and ability to speak off-the-cuff with an audience continues to connect in opera houses and intimate concert settings around the world.
A graduate of LA Opera’s Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program and The Santa Fe Opera’s Apprentice Program for Singers, tenor Rafael recently made his Seattle Opera debut as Tariq in the critically-acclaimed world premiere A Thousand Splendid Suns, and made his Minnesota Opera debut as Don José in Carmen, the directorial debut of acclaimed mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves, in Spring of 2022. He is currently preparing to make his Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra debut as a soloist in their annual Holiday Pops, and will return to Arizona Opera as the titular Zorro in their inaugural New Works Festival.
Rafael’s 2022-2023 included debuts with Annapolis Opera as Rodolfo in La bohème, continued performances around the globe with Grammy Award-winning jazz trumpeter Chris Botti, returns to the Houston Grand Opera stage for a reprise of Father Matías in El Milagro del Recuerdo and as Zweite Jude in Salome, a recital with Bethany Self in support of the Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition’s Houston District, and a return to the Houston Symphony as the featured vocal soloist in Fiesta Sinfónica.
Rafael has performed as a featured soloist with the LA Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, San Antonio Symphony, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Fort Worth Opera, Austin Opera, Aspen Music Festival, and as a featured opera singer soloist in the Chris Botti in Concert worldwide tour. Other highlights include debuts with Houston Grand Opera and Arizona Opera as Father Matías in the world premiere of El Milagro del Recuerdo, Utah Opera and Holy City Arts & Lyric Opera as Alfredo in La traviata, and Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera as the Duke in Rigoletto. In 2016, Rafael was heard as Rodolfo in La bohème at the Aspen Music Festival. Of his performance, Opera News said “[Rafael Moras] escaped all of the tempting tenorial clichés to create a fully fleshed-out characterization. His singing remained warm and ingratiating, from low note to high, from first scene to last.” He is a 2017 and 2018 recipient of The Santa Fe Opera's Richard Tucker Fund Award, a 2014 Metropolitan Opera Eric and Dominique Laffont Competition Grand Finalist, 2014 Operalia Quarter Finalist, and a 2013 and 2014 Eleanor McCollum Vocal Competition Finalist.
Prior to cancellations in the wake of COVID-19, Rafael’s 2020-2021 was to include a company debut with Arizona Opera as Father Matías in El Milagro del Recuerdo (rescheduled for 2021), a house debut with Opera Philadelphia as Malcom in Macbeth, continued touring around the world as a soloist in Grammy Award-winner Chris Botti's Chris Botti in Concert, and a return to the Houston Symphony as the Tenor I Soloist in Beethoven's Choral Fantasy under the leadership of Fabien Gabel for "Beethoven + López".
Rafael's 2019-2020 featured company debuts with Houston Grand Opera as Father Matías in the world premiere of El Milagro del Recuerdo, with Utah Opera as Alfredo in La traviata, and with Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera as the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto. In February 2020, Rafael was featured in recital with pianist Rachel Chao in his native San Antonio, Texas, as part of the Tuesday Musical Club's 2019-2020 Artist Series.
2018-2019 included a company debut with Dallas Opera as Remendado in Carmen, Nemorino from L’elisir d’amore in Santa Fe Opera's Apprentice Scene Showcase, YoungArts' "Pop of Culture with Plácido Domingo", Lyric Opera of Chicago - Lyric Unlimited's "Caribe Clásico", and a return to Santa Fe Opera for "The Santa Fe Opera Winter Concert Tour".
In 2016, Rafael was heard as Rodolfo in La bohème at the Aspen Music Festival. Of his performance, Opera News said “[Rafael Moras] escaped all of the tempting tenorial clichés to create a fully fleshed-out characterization. His singing remained warm and ingratiating, from low note to high, from first scene to last.”
Other past highlights include Flavio in LA Opera’s Norma, Pong in Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra's Turandot under Gustavo Dudamel, Pedrillo in Houston Symphony’s Die Entführung aus rem Serail, and the tenor soloist in LA Phil’s Beethoven Choral Fantasia under Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and in LA Opera's Petite messe solennelle under Plácido Domingo.
Rafael obtained his Bachelor of Music Degree at The University of Texas at San Antonio and a Masters in Vocal Performance at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music. Rafael was a featured singer in the 2010 HBO documentary "Masterclass with Plácido Domingo," was part of the inaugural class of the Young Artist Vocal Academy with Houston Grand Opera, and is a 2006 YoungArts Silver Medal Award Winner in Classical Voice and 2006 United States Presidential Scholar in the Arts.