Tenor Arnold Rawls has delighted audiences with his unique combination of vocal and dramatic skills in performances ranging from art song to opera.  He has been hailed for having a “powerful, clarion-sounding tenor,” a “firm, pliant lyric tenor with ringing high notes,” as well as a “flair for acting.”  His Radamès recently thrilled audiences as he “rose to the occasion, singing the famous "Celeste Aida" with a creamy tone and a beautiful sense of Italian lyricism. It included a dazzling high B-flat that seemed to ring for an eternity.”  (Omaha World Herald

This season has Mr. Rawls returning to the Metropolitan Opera as Faust (cv) in Boito's Mefistofele as well as recitals and concerts across the United States.  A return to the Sydney Opera House for an Operatic Gala, New Years Eve Gala with Opera Southwest (Albuquerque), Artist in Residence with the James Cuskelly University in Brisbane Australia.

Recent performances have included  Mr. Rawls singing Calaf in Turandot and Manrico in Il Trovatore at the Metropolitan Opera, Radamès in Aida with Opera Australia (Sydney and Gold Coast) and the Pacific Symphony (Costa Mesa, CA), Don Josè in Carmen with the Bregenzer Festspiele (Austria).  

Additional highlights  include the role of Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos with Theater St. Gallen (Switzerland), and as Manrico in Il Trovatore with Opera Australia (Sydney Opera House)  and  the Sacramento Opera where he was praised for his “pliant and super clear tenor.” (San Francisco Classical Voice)  In addition, he has offered recitals at the Goddard Center in Oklahoma as well as the Southern Region of NATS in Arkansas. of Hagenbach in La Wally with Oper St. Gallen (Switzerland) and Dallas Opera and Erik in Die Flegende Höllander also with Oper St. Gallen (Switzerland), Calaf in Turandot with the Bregenzer Festspiele and Pensacola Opera (Florida).


Engagements during the last few seasons include Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos at  Theater St. Gallen in Switzerland, San-Lui in Leoni’s L’Oracolo, Roberto in Le Ville and Apollo in Daphne all with Oper Frankfurt, and Manrico in Il Trovatore both for his debut with the Sydney Opera House and with The Metropolitan Opera.  


With the Arizona Opera and Vancouver Opera he portrayed Radamès in Aida, with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Pensacola Opera and Arizona Opera he sang Calaf in Turandot, with Opera Grand Rapids he sang Manrico in Il Trovatore, and he returned to the Bregenzer Festpiele as the title role in Andrea Chénier where The New York Times reported “Chénier, long a cherished role of Italian dramatic tenors, finds a creditable exponent in the American tenor Arnold Rawls, whose voice has an easy flow in midrange yet rang out excitingly in the big, high-lying moments.”


Further highlights include Radamès in Aida with the Bregenzer Festspiele in Austria,  Opera Omaha, Florida Grand Opera, and Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Manioc in Il Trovatore with the Seattle Opera, Bregenzer Festspiele, and Indianapolis Opera, Turridu in Cavalleria Rusticana with Granite State Opera, Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos with the Indianapolis Opera, and Canio in Pagliaci with Lyric Opera of Chicago.  He portrayed Erik in Der fliegende Holländer and Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with the Madison Opera, Cavaradossi in Tosca with Florida Grand Opera, Riccardo in Un Ballo in Maschera with the Des Moines Metro Opera, Sam in Susannah with Opera Pacific, and sang the leading role of Standing Bear in the World Premiere of Anthony Davis’ Wakonda’s Dream with Opera Omaha.


Powerful, clarion sounding tenor...

- Des Moines Register

Concert performances include Verdi’s Requiem with the Madison Symphony, Oberlin Conservatory, the Washington Chorus at the Kennedy Center, and with the Concert-Chor Concordia/Koncertchor Flensbur/Neue Philharmonie Westfalen at the Köln Philharmonie.  He sang the role of San-Lui in Franco Leoni’s L’Oracolo with the Teatro Grattacielo at New York’s Avery Fisher Hall, participated in gala concerts with the Abilene Symphony, Opera Omaha, and Las Vegas Philharmonic, sang Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Southwest Florida Symphony, and offered recitals throughout the United States.


He has performed as Manrico in Il Trovatore with Teatro Lirico, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with the Granite State Opera, Calaf in Turandot with Opera Omaha, Nevada Opera and Mobile Opera, and Alfred in Die Fledermaus with the Nashville Opera.  He portrayed Don Jose in Carmen with the Madison Opera, the Duke in Rigoletto with Teatro Lirico, and Canio in Pagliacci with the Opera Theatre of Highland Park.   He portrayed Dick Johnson in La fanciulla del West with the Utah Festival Opera, Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos with the Arizona Opera, Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana with the Pine Mountain Music Festival, and Alfredo in La Traviata with the Natchez Opera Festival.

In concert he has sung Manrico in Il Trovatore with the Elmhurst Symphony, Don Jose in Carmen with the DuPage Symphony, and Calaf in Turandot with the Beloit Janesville Symphony.  He was a soloist for Verdi’s Requiem with both the Lake Charles Symphony and Southwest Missouri State University, and for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in San Ramon, California and in St. Charles, Illinois.  His concert repertoire also includes Mozart's Requiem, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Handel's Messiah, Rossini's Stabat Mater, Schumann's Requiem, and Puccini's Messa di Gloria.


He is a recent recipient of a major grant from the Olga Forrai Foundation.   Arnold and his family live in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

where he bases his career.  His vocal journey began at University of Louisiana, Monroe under Metropolitan Opera Soprano

Margaret Kalil.





Des Moines Metro Opera



Don José

Bregenzer Festspiele

DuPage Symphony - University of Illinois

Dona Ana Lyric Opera




National Opera Company