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  • MontyNostry: Maybe we need to ask Mandryka about this. 4:29 PM

Quand viendra l’instant des suprêmes adieux

The Met press department just announced: “Tenor Marcello Giordani has decided to withdraw from the remaining four performances of Berlioz’s Les Troyens, permanently retiring the role of Aeneas from his repertory. In his place, American tenor Bryan Hymel [pictured] will make his Met debut, singing the role on December 26, December 29 matinee, January 1, and January 5 matinee (the date of the global HD transmission).”

Photo: Dario Acosta

111 comments

  • MontyNostry says:

    The AVA name does seem to be something of a seal of quality.
    This is another AVA talent to watch:

  • Bianca Castafiore says:

    I have not always loved Giordani, but compared to Voigt’s vocal troubles… he’s way ahead in that department. If only she’d have the decency to bow out…

    Or if the House of Gleb would finally figure out that you need a decent Cassandre or Brünnhilde… what a disaster.

    • Obvious Fake Name says:

      There were a LOT Of empty of seats on Friday. Usually I take the reports about the house being partially empty with a grain of salt, but I saw it with my own eyes.
      It’s…troubling.
      Especially with the way the hurricane affected attendance.

  • arepo says:

    MOnte Nostri:
    Who is that AVA singer please?

  • MontyNostry says:

    It sounds like a voice with lots of presence. Is that the case?

  • Gualtier M says:

    Though I am sure that Giordani is a mensch and a dear and gentleman, I am also sure that given the opportunity he would have sung the HD. Clearly he was bought out and he decided to bow out gracefully. But from La Cieca’s blind item, the implication is that the Met administration and Gelb (who has pulled others out of HD’s before -- i.e. Lucic as Macbeth replacing Ataneli who was only “ill” the day of the HD and returned immediately afterwars) bought Giordani out of the remainder of the contract. The wording of the announcement is that Giordani has decided the role is no longer a good fit for his voice. This was well-handled.

    One sad thing is that Giordani has saved the Met’s bacon on multiple occasions in the past stepping in for other tenors who have dropped out. For example: Giordani’s one Romeo replacing Villazon and there are other examples. He has been a very good element in that respect. So it is sad to hear of him being cashiered.

    As for Hymel -- I heard him in a duo recital with the George London Foundation with Michelle de Young I believe. The middle voice is rather wooden and grainy and not a thing of beauty. He has an amazingly easy upper extension and that is his selling point. No idea what kind of stage figure he cuts onstage. He struck me as being kind of useful rather than potentially great. Giordani has been great on certain evenings when everything was working (which admittedly was more often not the case). Uneven but with a great voice there and a generous performing spirit -- Giordani really gives to the audience. So I can see why he has devotees like Zinka.

    So I am happy that a young singer is getting a big chance -- I always am. However, I am not going to rejoice over Giordani being cashiered. Although the announcement does stress that Giordani is coming back as Paolo il Bello in “Francesca”. So his Met career is not over -- but we may be hearing less of him in major assignments and HDs.

    • Camille says:

      GM, just would like to add how Grateful I was the night of an Adriana Lecouvreurabout three years ago when Domingo was the announced Maurizio. That evening he cancelled and we got Giordani, who did a wonderful job as Maurizio.

      So, I know what you are talking about as that was the case for me, and the good nights did really happen and there waa that excellent Raoul at Carnegie Hall with OONY.

    • florezrocks says:

      I will certainly never forget the day he jumped in for Pinkerton the SAME DAY after having done the Berlioz Faust in HD that afternoon.

      At the same time, I’m a bit surprised by the reactions here. I have heard Giordani produce some of the ugliest sounds I have ever heard from a professional “star” opera singer. The voice in the past couple years has zero body, the high notes completely disconnected. His Nessum Dorma had a lovely “Vincerooo” but everything else was basically inaudible. The Berlioz Faust demonstrated he does not have the voice for this composer. So why didn’t anyone pick up on this? Would Levine have done anything differently? I just feel his unsuitability for this role could have been confidently predicted well in advance… (I think of Mattila and Gelb coming to a ‘consensus’ that Ballo was not the right role for her, something which was quite evident).

      Giordani seems like a wonderful colleague and is a great supporter of young singers -- but to what extent is he aware that much of his singing of late has been, frankly, unacceptable?

  • toitoitoi says:

    I hate to see a good singer’s career winding down -- age is a dreadful leveler, and a merciless one. Would love to hear this kid live. Sounds like he’s got the goods.

    • Nerva Nelli says:

      “I hate to see a good singer’s career winding down – age is a dreadful leveler, and a merciless one.”

      Yes, think how Our Own Castafiore must have felt after Monteverdi decreed her too *passée* to cover Arnalta…

  • Hot off of Giordani’s Facebook Page:
    Marcello Giordani
    A message to my fans and friends
    Many of you may already know of my decision to withdraw from the last four performances of Les Troyens. The decision was made in mutual agreement with the administration of The Met and, in order to counteract any misunderstanding which leads to erroneous assumptions and unpleasant conclusions, I want to say that it is with profound regret that I give up one of the most interesting roles in the entire operatic repertoire. I realize that, in spite of the success of my last performance on Friday, my voice is no longer suited to the role of Aeneas and because of this, I cannot give my best interpretation to a role so complex both musically and dramatically. To continue to keep it in my repertory would be unfair to all those who have followed and supported me throughout my career. I thank you wholeheartedly, and hope to see many of you when I return to The Met in February as Paolo il Bello in Francesca da Rimini. I take this opportunity to wish you all, together my Wilma, a very Happy Holiday Season.

  • Andie Musique says:

    He was wonderful as Radames in Chicago last season. Sometimes the Met seems like a particularly tough place to perform.

  • Vespa2 says:

    I can’t seem to warm up to Bryan Hymel. Something about him seems as though he isn’t steady on his feet, metaphorically, vocally and literally. I hope he can change my feelings in the future but so far nothing I’ve heard or seen online or in broadcasts has appealed to me. Except that he is charming in interviews. I won’t be at the HD broadcast but will listen via radio.