Saturday, April 23, 2011

Arnold Rawls Makes Unexpected MET Debut

Rawls as Manrico at the Bregenz Festival
Tenor Arnold Rawls stepped in for an indisposed Marcelo Álvarez for the second half of this evening's performance of Il Trovatore at the Metropolitan Opera. He was told at the end of the intermission that he would need to go back stage and get into costume to sing. An announcement was made to the audience that there would be an extra few minutes to allow the transition. For those who know the opera, the music that begins Act II, scene 3 is some of the most difficult for the role of Manrico during the whole evening. He opens with "Ah si, ben mio coll'essere" and quickly moves to "Di quella pira l'orrendo foco," a feat that would test the mettle of the most seasoned tenor who has also had the advantage of Act 1 to warm-up. Mr. Rawls basically went on cold and blew the audience away it what became his Metropolitan Opera debut. Roars of "bravo" thundered the opera house after his arias and the crowd leapt to its feet for his curtain call. Despite the interruption it may have caused the other singers who had to take extra time during the break when they were ready to get back on stage and sing, the cast change proved a thrilling evening for the tenor and the audience. The Louisiana-native has previously sung the role of Manrico in Il Trovatore for Bregenz Festival (Austria), Opera Southwest, Teatro Lirico, Mobile Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Seattle Opera and in concert with the Elmhurst Symphony. For more information about Arnold Rawls visit his website:


  1. Arnold!!!!!!! That is my teacher!! I am so beyond proud of him, and wish so very much I could have been there!!!!!!! XOXOXO
    Leah Crocetto

  2. It was one of the most amazing performances i've ever seen...Beautiful <3 Well done!! BRAVO!!!!

  3. It's a special thrill when something like this happens to a dear friend and colleague -- one who is not only a great singer but a wonderful person. Arnold is truly in his element when he sings Manrico. The opera world at large is extremely fortunate to have heard him that night. May there be many many more successes to follow!
    Lisa Thomas

  4. Arnold Rawls will star as Calaf this September in the Kansas City Lyric Opera's "Turandot," which will be the inaugural production in the opera theater of the city's new Kauffman Performing Arts Center. More info about the Center and its halls at and about the production at It promises to be a thrilling opener for the opera and the new Performing Arts Center!