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l’elisir d’amaro

As you all know by now, Rolando Villazón is out of the rest of the performances of L’elisir at the Met. The Met press office held on to this news until after 7:00 tonight, which is perhaps some indication of just how bad the Met considers this news to be.

This is what La Cieca knows. Villazón was scheduled for a coaching of his music yesterday; obviously he either didn’t show or else didn’t sing up to a level that the Met management felt confident sending him on tomorrow night. 

La Cieca also has heard from several sources that representatives of the Met’s artistic administration have been phoning around since late last week trying to line up tenor replacements for the next four performances. These efforts at recasting are ongoing — for example, La Cieca has heard that as of tonight the Met still does not have a tenor signed for Saturday the 11th.

Also heard is the story that since early in March the Met has been discreetly sounding out leading tenors about appearing in next season’s new production of Les Contes d’Hoffmann.  Which leads La Cieca to the very sad conclusion that this is the end for Villazón at the Met.

UPDATE: La Cieca now hears whispers that the Met is in talks with Massimo Giordano to star in the “new” Don Carlo (!!!) scheduled for 2010-2011.

139 comments

  • turandot says:

    Maria: you just simply have no idea what you are talking about. I have heard Mr. Polenzani sing Romeo at least 5 different occasions and I have never in my life heard that role sung so well, so beautifully, and so properly (unlike some more famous Romeos who don’t even attempt the diminuendo). He’s not a “light lyric tenor.” Shows how little you know. Singers evolve and voices change with time and age. You are often not the same singer at 40 that you were at 20.

    Try to overcome your ignorance and I’ll do my best to overcome my hostility and anger at that ignorance.

  • turandot says:

    130. You missed the operative phrase there. “Wonderful young singer.” Mr. Banks don’t fit that description. So no need for me to “pick a team.”

    Get it?

  • armerjacquino says:

    I see. Invective is ‘vicious’ when it’s against a singer you like, but fine when it’s unleashed against someone not to your taste.

    You’ll forgive the rest of us for not having a copy of your highly personal rulebook to hand.

  • Browser says:

    Polenzani is fine, but your not going to put him into anything more than a light lyric role at the Met without putting strain on the voice. Last year the voice did show any indication of growing too much. Voices do change of the time, but this is not consistent between one singer and another (and is more common in female singers, rather than in males -- often as physicality changes after childbirth). Many tenors simply remain doing what they were always meant to do. Those who go heavier, often come to grief.

    Turandot, you rant and rave; but you simply don’t underpin anything with any knowledge. I would be quite happy with Polenzani singing Hoffman at the Met, but it would have to be cast around him vocally. He’s a very different singer to Villazon, around whom the production as it stands has presumably been cast. And its a BLOODY long sing. You cannot compare it, for example, to Romeo..

  • mrmyster says:

    #134 Brower you are making sense, but I don’t think Polenzani can sustain a peformance of Hoffman, do you, really? I don’t this is tonal quality is right for it and I hope he does not make the attempt, if offered. He belongs in smaller European houses where his elegant Mozartean artistry can be apprecaited!
    Dr Turndot is irrational on the subject; just overlook that clod in the road.

  • Hippolyte says:

    For what it’s worth, Polenzani sang Edgardo a couple seasons ago at the Bastille (a huge barn and had a big success, I believe) and is doing it again with Gruberova in Vienna this spring.

  • maria says:

    I think the Bastille uses sound enhancement. At any rate, Villazon had big successes and look what happened to him.

    Having heard Polenzani as Alfredo, I have no desire to hear him sing anything heavier than Belmonte or Tamino.

  • Browser says:

    It would be nice to see directors take the Schlesinger reading of Hoffman (at Covent Garden) and cast Hoffman as a middle aged man stepping back into his youth. This would give them far more scope to cast a tenor more suitable to the role vocally. The opera world is littered with tenor pushed beyond their limits. This is partly because teachers are not taking the baritones whose voices would lift to make the lyric and lyrico-spinto tenors up and training them in the right direction (alla Bergonzi, Domingo etc).

  • José Acosta says:

    This is incredible, all of you are GENIOUS, all of you are EXPERTS in opera singers and it is easy for you to say…he doesn´t work anymore…, la comedia é finita…, he won´t sing anymore, The Met is finished for Villazon and you suggest this and this other opera singer is okay as if you were in the market buying tomatoes… I am sure all of you are failed opera singers and this is the only reason why you try to be or try to appear as very hard opera critic to let people know that you know a lot of opera, but you need to be honest, just wait…Rolando Villazon will be back to close all of your big mouths.