At last night’s Don Pasquale prima, Juan Diego Florez was “souffrant” but sang the first two acts, then ceded the role to Barry Banks, who apparently rose to the occasion beautifully. Eduardo Villa sings the final Luisa Miller tonight, theoretically opposite Veronica Villaroel, who did sing the performance on the 29th (was anyone there?) Neil Shicoff is still on the roster for next season’s Peter Grimes, but you can be sure the Met is lining up the most solid covers imaginable.
Oh, and if Massimo Giordano sounds a little tired on the occasion of his Met debut (April 5), cut him a little slack. Due to the demanding itinerary of the tenor’s diva/mother/author/reading advocate co-star, the only time a full day of rehearsals for the Manon revival could be set was on Tuesday the 4th, i.e., the day before Giordano makes his bow. (Actually, this one’s not Fleming’s fault: she doesn’t schedule the repertory and the rehearsals at the Met. But who had the brainstorm of scheduling a two-performance “revival” of this opera with only Fleming repeating her role from the fall, and knowing that she would not be in town until three days before Giordano’s first night?)