Wednesday, April 08, 2009

New names

In an announcement that should shock no one, Rolando Villazon is officially out of the remaining performances of Elisir, having cancelled the first two a while back. More intriguing are the replacements lined up for the non-Calleja performances: Barry Banks tonight and Lindemann grad Dimitri Pittas for the three after. They are two different sorts of tenors: Banks high and light, Florez's deputy for Fille and Sonnambula these past seasons, and Pittas -- who managed to make a big impression as Tybalt in 2005 before being the non-Calleja Macduff last season -- more forceful, with a steel in the voice that destines him for the heavier side of the lyric tenor canon.

Both seem good choices to sing Donizetti's comic favorite.

I suppose it's fair at this point to start speculating who exactly may be singing the title part in December's new Met production of Offenbach's Tales of Hoffmann. Unfortunately the tenors who seem to me best-fit -- Klaus Florian Vogt, who has sung Hoffmann elsewhere, and Piotr Beczala, who lists it as "in preparation" -- both appear to be otherwise engaged at the time (Vogt in a Tote Stadt in Frankfurt, Beczala in a London Boheme). We'll see...

UPDATE (6:30PM): I guess this is one reason Roberto Alagna wasn't drafted to sing in Elisir opposite his wife.

1 comment:

  1. I heard Calleja sing the Duke at the Met on satellite radio last night and his performance was epic. His singing sounds natural and his top notes are effortless. He sings a convincing piano and his phrasing is beautiful. This guy is the real thing. I wish him the best and I hope he's around for long time.


Absolutely no axe-grinding, please.