Friday, March 27, 2009

Villazon drops out of Elisir

Villazon apparently has laryngitis. Opera Chic thinks our Angela maybe knew what she was talking about. Actually it was a little longer ago than 2 weeks - the interview took place in the last week of January. OC says RV is out of 31 March and 4 April, planning to return to the production from 8 April.

It is only five years ago that I heard Villazon for the first time - he was an unknown, singing Rodolfo at Glyndebourne. I was admittedly so busy ogling the gergeurs Nathan Gunn that I didn't pay as much attention to the new Mexican tenor as he deserved. Other than thinking he was a heck of a good actor and that...well, that really is quite a voice. Six months or so later, everything caught fire. It is way, way too soon to have to consider saying goodbye to a sound like that.

So what happened? We can only hazard sensible guesses. Vocal problems can hit any singer, any time. But you need to be very, very resilient emotionally to survive certain things that the music business lands you with. How manufactured was that partnership with Netrebko? I had the impression from talking to her in 2006 that it was jolly real (I checked back in the out-takes from that interview in case there was illumination to be found, but there wasn't, beyond the printed version - this particular conversation was less scintillating than the one with Angela, except, of course, for the diamonds.) But voices are voices, human blood and guts, not steel strings. Muck them about at your peril.