Saturday, December 22, 2012

Marcello Giordani withdraws from Les Troyens

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 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).”

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.


  1. Unless it's due to illness -- totally bizarre to withdraw during the middle of a run. Not very professional.

    1. Hood, Rumor has it that it was due to the boos on opening night and he decided not to give something the audiences did not like.

    2. Actually, Hood, pulling out of the production instead of wrecking his voice (not to mention his image) by insisting on singing this demanding role IS the professional thing to do.

      Although, frankly, I think the best thing for him to have done is take into account that this venture was never going to play to his intrisic strengths. Doing it in concert back in 2008, in conditions which never involved performing the entire opera straight through over a 4-to-5 hour period, is one thing. Four-and-a-half years later, having to perform it under opera house conditions (cramming the whole thing into that 4-to-5 hour time slot), fully staged/costumed/lit and with sets/props/stage trappings, with a more mature voice, having sung more verismo in the meantime, having to relearn the thing, and not being a master of the French language (pace Levine's encouragement of MG's Berliozian adventures)… one wished he had realized that the deck was stacked against him… unless he was able to take account of and master all those elements.

      But he didn't.

      performing the role over the course of an entire night's worth of singing

    3. One of the harsh facts of the opera industry is that the cover's job is actually to be able perform their assigned role during the rehearsal period. There is NO guarantee that the cover will get to perform onstage in place of the main performer.

    4. I can see your point. But it's not like he didn't know what he was getting into. I was really looking forward to seeing him perform in Les Troyens at the movie theater in January. I have been listening to Les Troyens getting ready for the show in January. The recording I'm listening to has the best Aeneas ever -- Jon Vickers.

    5. David, it drives me nuts to think that anyone would boo any performance that was undertaken in good faith. But apparently the uncouthness and coarsening of our culture has crept into the opera world.

    6. Hood, when opera first began the performers would get run off the stage if they weren't up to the standards. In today's American culture of everybody getting a trophy for participation, I'm glad that a few brave souls could let Giordani know that it is not okay to scream through this beautiful music and distract from the drama and the overall art form.

  2. The Met didn't have a cover for him?
    Not that I am complaining that Bryan is singing.