What happens when a lead is unable to perform a role? When Joseph Calleja withdrew from singing the role of Edgardo in “Lucia di Lammermoor” this past Wednesday, Peter Gelb the Met Opera director decided to not use the understudy ready to take on the role, but instead call young (and talented) tenor Michael Fabiano 7 hours before curtain call to see if he could do it. Fabiano has sung the role before, just not in the Met Opera production. This article from the NYTimes is super interesting, breaking down by the dwindling hours everything that had to happen before the curtain rose at 8:30pm that night. Fabiano is wonderfully talented, I’ve seen him perform several roles at the Met, but why wasn’t the understudy, who has rehearsed and worked to be ready at a moments notice, notified? I remember in college watching a Met Opera HD Live Broadcast of Carmen with Teddy Tahu Rhodes as Escamillo who was a last minute replacement the morning of, receiving the call during breakfast and was on stage 3 hours later. Food for thought.

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