British-trained Mexican tenor dies, at 59

British-trained Mexican tenor dies, at 59


norman lebrecht

January 19, 2022

The Mexican tenor Rafael Rojas died yesterday of an undisclosed cause.

After studying in Glasgow and Manchester, he won a Domingo award in the 1995 Operalia competition and went on to a career that centred mostly on the UK and major European houses.

Opera North has tweeted: ‘We are incredibly sad to learn that tenor Rafael Rojas has passed away. A key member of the Opera North family, Rafael sang many roles here throughout his hugely distinguished career. We are privileged to have known and worked with him.’


  • Anthony Michaels-Moore says:

    Awful news. A lovely guy with a fine voice.

  • Stephen Lord says:

    I loved this guy. I brought him to the USA for several productions. I still remember his first and magnificent WERTHER with the now late Mika Shigematsu. They were beautiful. And we stayed friends, for which I am grateful.

  • CRogers says:

    I’m in shock at the news of his death. I heard him in a number of Verdi/Puccini roles with Opera North on tour in Manchester. A fine singer. When I knew he was in the cast I would look forward to the performance just that little bit more. I feel thankful for his part in Opera North and what he gave me. Very very sad.

  • Robert Alderson says:

    He was such a lovely human being . I was privileged to have been his singing teacher at the RNCM in the middle 1990s and later as a good friend who always kept in touch . A lovely voice and elegant singer. I remember teaching him the role of Gerontius … his empathy with the text and the music was amazing. I will always be sad that I never heard him sing it with orchestra… it really would have been wonderful.
    During lock up he spent time chatting with my college students on line and was so generous and humble . I know that he would have emerged as not only the fine singer he was but a great singing teacher and inspiration to young singers. May he RIP

  • Una says:

    This is awful news as we all know him from Opera North as a fine singer. Wasn’t he supposed to have been in Carmen? May he rest eternally in peace.

  • anna Hutton says:

    all these un expected deaths lately I wonder if he took the vaccine or booster for covid