The Cuban-born tenor, who won the prize of "Best Lyric Tenor" in the 1992 Alfredo Kraus Competition, has also concertized extensively in this country and abroad.
" A couple weeks ago I watched a tenor (Raúl Melo) in a gondolier's outfit stride out on a stage and sing to an immense outdoor crowd "O Sole Mio" and "Torna a Sorrento" and "Finiculi-Finicula," three old cheeseballs that no serious singer does nowadays, and when he hit the big money note at the end of "O Sole Mio," that crowd jumped up as if bitten by badgers and yelled and whooped and whistled. I loved that. Serious artists seek to create challenging work that leaves the audience stunned, thoughtful, even angry, but what we the audience want is the pure joy of a man aiming at a very high note and hitting it squarely and us jumping up and yelling. A simple reflex, same as when the opposition hits into a double play in the ninth inning with one out and the winning run on third. "Garrison Keillor A Prairie Home Companion, June 2008
. . . Raúl Melo, offered strong vocalism as the callous Lt. Pinkerton. His voice rang out with ardor, especially during the beautiful love music of Act I. In the final scene, his aria of belated remorse was very well sung, as the tenor rode the crest of Puccini's powerful orchestra with ease.
Times-Picayune, George Dansker, April 2006 regarding Mr. Melo's performance in the New Orleans Opera production of Madama Butterfly.
. . . Rodolfo è Raúl Melo, giovane tenore americano con acuti di sicuro impatto emotivo. (Roldolfo was Raúl Melo a young American tenor with secure high notes and emotional impact)
Opera Click November 29, 2002 in review of Mr Melo in La Bohème during the International Festival in Macau China.
Un Ballo in Maschera
...Raúl Melo sang the king with fervent lyricism. He has a resonant voice that he put to good use.
R.M. Cambell, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 6 2002 when Mr. Melo sang Gustavo in Seattle Opera’s production of Verdi’s "A Masked Ball"
Sacco and Vanzetti
...Cuban-born Raúl Melo, a highly promising 'Italian' tenor, was a radiant Manno Bianchini, from Wes Blomster of "Opera Now" July/August 2001 reviewing the world premere of "Sacco and Vanzetti" in Tampa Florida
Miami Herald,March 25: Miami's Raúl Melo, the Cuban-American tenor, is a sympathetic, mellifluous Ermanno Bianchi, Sacco's young anarchist pal.
...and there's lots of fine singing, especially from Cuban-born Raúl Melo, who bowed as Nemorino with the Florida Grand Opera in Dade County Auditorium Wednesday. Melo is that rarity, a honeyed bel canto tenor in the true lyric tradition. He floated Una furtiva lagrima with poignancy, spun out Quanto e bella suavely and had fun with the Belcore in their Venti scudi! duet. And he was a sympathetic bumpkin opposite the Adina.
TJames Roos, Miami Herald,February 14, 1998, regarding Raúl Melo's performance as Nemorino in Florida Grand Opera's production of "L'Elisir d'Amore."
Entertainment News and Views had this to say: Raúl Melo is marvelous as the unhappy swain. He has a magnificent tenor voice, clear diction and a wonderful way of using dynamics to accent key phrases. His aria, una furtiva lagrima is a joy to hear and got a well-deserve ovation from the packed house.
Lane Crockett, Shreveport Times, October 20, 1997, had this to say of Raúl Melo's performance as Rodolfo in "La Bohème" with the Shreveport Opera: She was quite well-matched by Melo's full-bodied tenor. Rodolfo's Che gelida manina was thrilling, as it should have been. Their love duet closing the act sent chills up the spine.
On April 7, 1997, Michael Dungan of Dublin's Evening Herald in his review of Raúl Melo as Macduff in Opera Ireland's production of "Macbeth", had this to say: Both men (baritone and bass), however, were out done by a fine Macduff, Raúl Melo, in his Act IV aria, 'Ah, la paterna mana.'
The Evening Herald was not alone in their assessment of Raúl Melo as Macduff, Ian Fox for Opera magazine, had reviewed the same performance and said: Cuban tenor Raúl Melo, the only singer whose Italian was acceptable, displayed a fine voice in the short role of Macduff and is another talent to watch.
Of the same performance, Robert Hartford writing for Opera Now had this to say: Raúl Melo made much of Macduff and, for once, the role did not seem like an afterthought of a composer anxious to accommodate a tenor.
The review on March 5, 1997, for Raúl Melo's performance as the Duke in the South Street Theater Company's production of "Rigoletto" had this to say: Tenor Raúl Melo substituting for an indisposed Peter Riben, turned in a stellar performance as the Duke of Mantua, with beautiful lyric tones and a ringing top. Each one of his solo arias from Questa o quella to La Donna È mobile was sung with youthful ardor, poise and color...
The fact that the Duke in "Rigoletto" is one of Mr. Melo's signature roles, he is no stranger to such reviews to-wit, this review in Opera News regarding his performance at the Augusta Opera: As the Duke Raúl Melo was every bit the roué, and his powerful tenor had no match on stage. In fact, his portrayal was so on target that he seemed out of place.
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