Tenor Raúl Melo has enjoyed a career performing some of the most demanding roles of the Italian and French repertoire across four continents. His international career began when he was awarded the prize of “Best Lyric Tenor” in the 1992 Alfredo Kraus Competition, a prize personally bestowed upon Mr. Melo by the late great Spanish tenor. Beginning in the lyric repertoire, Mr. Melo’s repertoire has expanded to embrace the great heroic Verdi and Puccini roles: Carlo Don Carlo, Rodolfo Luisa Miller, Alvaro La Forza Del Destino; des Grieux Manon Lescaut, Cavaradossi Tosca, Dick Johnson La Fancuilla Del West, and Calàf Turnadot.
For nine seasons Mr. Melo has been a regularly invited guest artist with the Metropolitan Opera. He made his MET debut in 2005 as Duca Rigoletto and was heard in a 2008 Sirius Metropolitan Opera Radio live broadcast as Pinkerton Madama Butterfly. His other MET responsibilities have included covering the lead tenor roles in La Damnation de Faust, Hamlet, Romeo et Juliette, and La Rondine, as well as four Verdi titles: La Traviata, Un Ballo in Maschera, Rigoletto, I Vespri Siciliani, and Don Carlo, the last of which he covered during the MET’s 2011 tour to Japan. Mr. Melo also joined members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for the 2011 New York premiere of Allen Shawn’s work Hide Not Thy Face.
Mr. Melo has also been a frequent guest with other New York opera companies. For New York City Opera, Mr. Melo has performed such leading roles as Cavaradossi Tosca, Pinkerton Madama Butterfly, and Araquil in Massenet’s rarely-performed yet thrilling La Navarraise. For Teatro Grattacielo, which presents rarely-heard verismo operas in concert form, Mr. Melo has performed Vassili in Giordano’s Siberia, the King in the New York premiere of Franco Alfano’s Sakuntala, Giosta Berling in Zandonai’s I Cavalieri di Ekebu, Gennaro in Wolf-Ferrari’s I Gioielli Della Madonna, and Osaka in Mascagni’s Iris. In recent seasons, Mr. Melo has displayed impressive stylistic breadth with his role debuts as both Turiddu Cavalleria Rusticana and Canio Pagliacci, performing both in the same evenings (Amarillo Opera). Other North American companies with which Mr. Melo has performed include Washington National Opera, Dallas Opera, Seattle Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Spoleto Festival USA, Manitoba Opera, and Opéra de Québec.
Mr. Melo’s early career included several seasons in the major German theatres, including both of Berlin’s major opera houses (Deutsche Oper Berlin and Staatsoper unter den Linden), Düsseldorf’s Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Hamburg Staatsoper, Staatstheater Braunschweig, the Köln Arena, Oper Frankfurt, and the Semperoper Dresden, in repertoire including Alfred Die Fledermaus, Nemorino L’Elisir d’amore, Duca, Rigoletto, Rodolfo La Boheme to Don José Carmen among others. His European credits include performances at the Grand Théâtre de Reims, the Palais Princier de Monaco (the official residence of the Prince of Monaco), Brussels’ Vorst Nationaal Music Hall, Zürich Opera, Oslo’s Den Norske Opera, and Opera Ireland in Dublin. In 2003 Mr. Melo made his Italian debut as Don José Carmen at the Teatro Verdi di Salerno, and went on to debut with other distinguished Italian companies such as the Teatro San Carlo di Napoli and Teatro Massimo di Palermo (both as Rodolfo LA BOHÈME), the Teatro Regio di Parma (concert in honor of Verdi’s bicentenary), and the Teatro Comunale di Bologna on their inaugural tour of Korea (Duca RIGOLETTO).
Farther abroad, Mr. Melo has performed in Colombia (FOSBO Orchestra Bogotá, Rachmaninoff concert), Argentina (Teatro Colón Buenos Aires, Verdi Requiem), Israel (New Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv), China (Shanghai International Arts Festival, Macau International Music Festival), Hong Kong (Musica Viva Hong Kong), Japan (Tokyo), and South Korea (Teatro Comunale di Bologna tour, which played in Seoul, Busan, and Kwanju-san).
Mr. Melo has been a frequent guest of “A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keilor.
The Havana-born, American-educated tenor resides in New York.