To those who have come to know him as the “singing policeman,”—the New York City cop who helped bring the country an uplifting spirit of promise and hope after the September 11th terrorist attacks with his stirring rendition of “God Bless America”—it is no surprise that Daniel Rodriguez is known as America’s Beloved Tenor.
At 16, he presented his first recital at Carnegie Hall; at 17, he was billed as the “17-year-old Baritone.” Then, at age 19, he put music aside to raise his family, going to work to make ends meet. He worked at the post office, and then as a police officer in the New York City Police Department. It was in uniform that local New York audiences began to discover his voice and his passion for the music he sang. Before the events of 9/11, he was already quite well known around New York City as he had sung in "Broadway on Broadway," in local opera and musical theater productions. As an “official singer” for the NYPD Ceremonial Unit, he sang at many functions, and later, at memorials in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks.
After 9/11, then-New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, helped set up an audition with Placido Domingo. Daniel studied with Maestro Domingo and the staff at the Young Artist Program in Washington for a year and half. Daniel's operatic debut took place in June of 2006, where he sang the role of Canio in Pagliacci with the Chelsea Opera Company in New York City. In 2007, Daniel was named for "Best Performance by a Leading Male" for the 2006-2007 season, by OperaOnline for his portrayal of Canio with Granite State Opera.
He performed at the Republican National Convention and President Bush’s “Celebration of Freedom” Inauguration concert, and on television’s “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “Larry King Live,” “Live with Regis and Kelly,” “The Tonight Show” and “Oprah,” among many other high profile events. In 2011, he performed as part of The New York Tenors in a series of concerts, and the following year sang the National Anthem for a September 11 memorial service at Pearl Harbor.
Wherever he goes, Daniel is asked about that fateful morning and how it changed his life. He was driving over the Verrazano Bridge to begin his shift with the NYPD when the first plane hit the World Trade Center. He was on the ground near the buildings when they collapsed, nearly losing his own life. Nine years later, he went back to heal himself. From this journey, Daniel has begun Find 9/12.com... the quest to rediscover the unity we experienced in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.