Thursday, March 26, 2009

More turnover

Unfortunately but unsurprisingly, tenor Rolando Villazon -- in, it seems, another vocal crisis -- is out of the season's first two performances of Elisir next week opposite Angela Gheorghiu. In, for the moment, is the cloddish and raw Massimo Giordano. (Who knows? Maybe the foolish but good-hearted Nemorino is of particular enough interest that he can make something of the role.) I'm a bit surprised the replacement's not Gheorghiu husband Roberto Alagna, other engagements or no. Perhaps he'll do the later ones. As long as Joseph Calleja sings at least the one performance for which he's scheduled I'll be happy.

Calleja, incidentally, reprises his Duke of Mantua beginning Wednesday.

More confusing is Christine Brewer's cancellation from her scheduled Ring performances as Brünnhilde. She is being replaced by the debuting Iréne Theorin -- sort of. Brewer and Lisa Gasteen -- whom I liked despite a very short top in last season's Valkyrie -- were supposed to alternate entire cycles, but Gasteen pulled out injured weeks ago. Brewer was assigned one of Gasteen's cycles and the standalone Valkyrie, and Linda Watson -- a sub last year in Tristan for Katarina Dalayman's Isolde -- the other cycle. Now with Brewer also out with an injury, the three cycles are going to be split among three sopranos: Theorin, Watson and Dalayman.
Cycle 1 (matinees): Theorin, Theorin, Dalayman
Cycle 2 (week of April 27): Dalayman, Watson, Dalayman
Cycle 3 (week of May 4): Watson, Watson, Watson
Theorin will also sing the standalone Valkyrie on April 6.

In other news, the AP still doesn't know the difference between "crescendo" and "climax".

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Absolutely no axe-grinding, please.