Headshot of La Cieca

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Horn of a dilemma

La Cieca has just heard that Salvatore Licitra is out of all performances of the Met’s 2012 revival of Ernani. The role of Verdi’s bandit will be shared between Marcello Giordani and Roberto DeBiasio.


  • aulus agerius says:

    Giordani was really not a very good Ernani last time around, with Radvanovsky and Hampson. Lots of intonation problems and baying at the moon. I first saw/heard of him in San Francisco in La Favorite with Sonia Ganassi a long time ago.

  • Gualtier M says:

    I believe that DeBiasio (whose star is rising fast after that Tanglewood Pollione) will do the first group of performances. Giordani will then take over the later run including the HD. Obviously they haven’t ironed out the contract details so Licitra is still listed for the individual performances. Interesting how Licitra’s career plummeted so fast after being the next Pavarotti to being pulled from the new “Trovatore” some years ago. Now this. I’d say he is done at the Met.

    • iltenoredigrazia says:

      The schedule I got from the Met several days ago lists De Biasio for the Ernani performances on Feb 2, 6 and 10. Giornani is listed for Feb 14, 18 eve and 18 matinee. The last performance will be on HD.

      Licitra does not appear on the tenors roster.

    • brooklynpunk says:

      Licitra really seemed to crash and burn, in record time, following his stepping in for that “farewell” Tosca, at The MET… did he EVER REALLY “have the goods”, in the first place?

  • CruzSF says:

    Having seen/heard both of them live in the past 12 months, I’d give the edge to Giordani. Licitra was so bad here that I hope to never hear him again.

    • atalaya says:

      Licitra is the only singer on the Met’s roster I will exchange tickets to avoid. I was dismayed about Ernani because it meant I’d have to see him -- he was scheduled for all the shows. Problem apparently solved.

      His Cavaradossi this past season was unpleasant. His Calaf the season before a disaster. I’ve never heard anybody else at the Met come close to choking in the way he did at the conclusion of Nessun Dorma.

    • Sheldon says:

      CruzSF--If you’re referring to those Dick Johnsons, I agree.

      • CruzSF says:

        I noted here at the time that he sang decently for only one aria on the night I heard him. Someone else remarked that this must have amounted to 90 seconds of decent singing out of a 2 hour opera. Sadly, this was correct, ATME.

  • m. croche says:

    Ah, “The Man Who Cried”. With John Turturro as Dante Dominio, the somewhat hysterical Italian tenor. There’s a scene where Turturro/Dominio is singing and an onstage horse does what onstage horses inevitably do.

    I see the connection to Licitra.

    • manou says:


      • CruzSF says:

        Hahahaha. I love it. And didn’t the Fanciulla horse do that on opening night at the War Memorial?

        • Batty Masetto says:

          Not just on opening night, either, Cruz.

          • CruzSF says:


          • SF Guy says:

            The horse definitely did his thing at the dress rehearsal, though it wasn’t obvious he’d left his calling card until the stage was cleared for the curtain calls. (The chorus members had to watch their step while reentering, much to the amusement of the audience.)

            Licitra’s first act at the dress was pretty raw, but Acts Two and Three were tolerable. In his defense, I should mention that I heard him sing a very good Don Carlo in LAO’s 2006 production; the LA Times commented that he was in much better voice than his last time at LAO, so it would seem he’s yet another tenor who’s only occasionally lived up to his potential.

        • manou says:

          Salvatore Lishitra.

    • Gualtier M says:

      As Sir Thomas Beecham said about a stage animal (horse or elephant) who relieved themselves onstage in the Triumphal Scene of “Aida”: “Performer and critic!”

  • Melot's Younger Brother says:

    Hmm, SL’s Don Carlo at LAO hurt my ears, but I thought a year later he was an acceptable Luigi.

  • OpinionatedNeophyte says:

    In related news, Brad Wilber is reporting that Marcelo Alvarez is going to do his best Jose Cura impression in a production of Andrea Chenier in 4 seasons. Let the wailing and gnashing of teeth begin.

  • Camille says:

    I remember Licitra’s debut in Tosca, a concert in Central Park with ???, his L.A. Don Carlo, a radio transmission of I’ll Tabarro of the MET, and lastly, the sad and dispirited Fanciulla from last summer.

    These were all more or less cut from the same cloth, with the Don Carlo being the most successful, by far, of these appearances.

    And then, inexplicably, there was that one night @ Carnegie Hall in which he sang Don Alvaro in Forza that had so much of the right stuff, it really surprised many people, including myself, and set off a buzz.

    I wonder what went wrong.
    He seems a genuine and--for a tenor--humble sort of person. I wonder, also, if it is too late for him to save his career. Salvatore della patria? Poor guy.

  • jatm2063 says:

    Surely this is a win for everyone involved, including Verdi.