Cher Public

Egli s’avanza!

Michael Fabiano will make his Met role debut as Edgardo in this evening’s performance of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, replacing Joseph Calleja, who is ill. So says the Met press department, no fooling.

    • moi

      His rise has been fast… NY Times calls him a luxury stand-in

  • Camille

    Yes, there was no sign in the lobby nor any insert in the program so when we got there, Monsieur Camille began to inquire as we feared we may have made a mistake, he went and asked the House Manager as the usher was uninformed, and was told that Monsieur Gelb would make an announcement from the stage prior to the opera. All’s well that ends well.

    Many of us gave him an encouraging welcoming hand of applause, as well, so he would know he was loved. All in all, a heartening experience.

    • Camille

      Monsieur Gelb seeming to enjoy such announcements……

    • DeepSouthSenior

      Camille, You may have a point in thinking that the GM enjoys such announcements. I’ve written here before that at the February 26th Carmen, Gelb faced the audience (he was already on the open stage) to tell us there were a few problems with the set and that all would be well soon. When the curtain finally came down (it was up when the doors were opened) and the Overture began at 7:37 p.m., I wondered why we needed the Big Gun for a slight hiccup. For all I know, disaster may have been imminent a few minutes before, and Gelb had been present in case of a complete breakdown. The whole incident did seem odd at the time, though.

      • whiskey per tutti

        Shout out to the Met’s press department for speedy work.

        • antikitschychick

          Shout out to you for offering all of us whiskey! Might take you up on your offer tomorrow since it’s Friday :-P.

      • Camille

        Yes sir, as it happens I attended that performance as well and arrived early to my seat so was a witness to the whole affair which I considered a form of live action performance art and, as such, a little bit OTT. That’s all right — more bang for the buck, ah reckon.

  • Milady DeWinter

    Thank you to LT, Camille, parpignol etal. for your comments on last night’s Lucia!
    Sounds like La Shaga was left in La Shade-a in the presence of Mr. F’s fiery vocalism -- but bravi to all. I wish Sirius had broadcast it. (Boos to them, or the Met, or both, for the radical drop in the frequency of weeknight broadcasts.
    So sorry to hear about the empty seats in the house. Not good.

    • LT

      Shaga Khan surely had her big moments too. She was loudly applauded after her arias (I am not fond of her cadenzas as some were rushed and rhythmically inadequate) and at curtain time but the voice isn’t large enough for the ensemble scenes. The sextet is the reminder that Lucia was not written with a chirper in mind and it was only much later that it was usurped by the evil and greedy race of the coloraturas :D
      She was also a gracious colleague as she applauded the einspringer from the wings during the curtain call before she took the stage herself.

      • LT

        I forgot to mention Matthew Plenk who did Arturo. He’s from the Lindenmann program I believe. Very nice and sonorous voice. Big squillo.

      • Milady DeWinter

        Glad to hear it, LT; she’s cribbed her Mad Scene cadenza from Sutherland -- not a bad model to be sure. I think the rhythmic inadequacies were the pauses added for dramatic effect. Even silences and pauses must maintain the rhythm -- very tricksy!
        (I agree: Plenk is excellent -- lots of promise there.)

      • Not to be pedantic but the first Lucia was Fanny Tacchinardi Persiani, who most certainly was probably a light chirper. In fact Donizetti once remarked that her voice was “freddina” — light, high, and (in his opinion) a bit cold. Original Lucia keys were also higher than the standard keys performed today.

        I think the role does require a flexibility of the voice that is usually associated with lighter lyric sopranos. It’s a rare freak of nature like Callas or Sutherland who have the darker/larger voices but can still negotiate the music with lightning speed.

        • SilvestriWoman

          Ivy, as always spot-on… I can’t help but think this would have made Donizetti’s heads spin, in the best way.


        • LT

          I just read about the first Lucia. Her voice is described as sweet and light but with a brilliant upper register. So, maybe she was able to ride the orchestra and chorus in the large moments. Shaggy’s voice looses its shine on the highest notes.

          Interestingly, Tacchinardi Persiani also sang Lucrezia Borgia, I due Foscari and Ernani. Those aren’t roles associated today with the kind of chirpers we know today.

          When it comes to the keys being lower today, that’s being done in order to accommodate interpolated high notes which aren’t written in the score. In fact, if I’m not mistaken, it’s Edgardo that has E flats and Ds written in the score that are almost never performed anymore.

          • LT

            Loses* (before grammar police officer manou gives me a citation lol)

  • Salome Where She Danced

    Fab gave a song recital at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater (500 seats) last year, and it was amazing the back wall remained standing after he was finished with the gig. Some of us lost our hearing. . .

    • DeepSouthSenior

      I can imagine the sound from Fabiano in a small theater. I had a similar experience for a few moments during Matthew Polenzani’s recital last February in the 900+ seat Dixon Hall at Tulane University. By all accounts, the mature, sensitive, and polished Polenzani doesn’t have close to the natural raw power of Fabiano.

      • Flora del Rio Grande

        Very pro Fabio here, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I heard several of his Alfredos a few
        summers ago at Santa Fe — fine instrument, emerging musicality. He basically was singing too big, yet at times he pulled back, showed a good piano tone, and also showed he basically knows what he is doing. Keep in mind SFE auditorium is 2200 seats with a moderately bright acoustic; point is he could have done better as Alfredo there by singing it a bit less f and more mf. I am just sorry he made those anti--gay comments some time back. Now they’ll never hire him in Indiana!!! (Just joking!)
        xoxo Fab from Flora del Rio Grande

        • operatenorman

          Sorry, what? Fabiano “anti-gay??” -- he IS gay. conservative, yes. but also gay.

  • Camille

    What I’d like to know is why has the Met Cast Changes not listed this change for Fabiano yet, for the April 1st performance, and who will go on tonight? Calleja had sounded sick for more than a little while, and so sitting out one performance may hardly have been enough for him to recuperate. As of a short while ago, though, he is still listed and in the NYTimes article it was mentioned that the Fabiano appearance would be for “one night”.

    Just a little curious as to the nature of the sleight of hand going on here, that’s all. A nosey old lady smells something.