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WNO Hamlet update

As the Met continues its run of Thomas's opera "Hamlet", the Washington National Opera is preparing for its own production, in May, with announcement of a cast change. Carlos Alvarez, originally announced for the lead role, has withdrawn from the production; the role will be sung instead by Michael Chioldi and Liam Bonner (who is singing the small role of Horatio at the Met, and therefore has the signal advantage of familiarity with a relatively little-known score). Their dates have not yet been announced, leading one to wonder, perhaps frivolously, if the idea is to see which of them does better with the part in rehearsals.

Plácido Domingo, happily, is on the mend from surgery (his attendance at a rehearsal of "Götterdämmerung" at the L.A. Opera last week prompted a wave of celebratory "He's back" articles in the world press). But he is wisely avoiding overstrain by delegating some of the conducting duties of "Hamlet," passing three of the performances -- on May 19, 27, and 30 -- to Patrick Fournillier.

By Anne Midgette  |  March 30, 2010; 6:15 AM ET
Categories:  Washington , news , opera  
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Next: Play it again: on encores


Several ridiculous assumptions here. First, one would hope that both Chioldi and Bonner would have "familiarity" with the score if they're going to be singing the title in just a few weeks. Second, to suggest that someone who sings Horatio and is on stage for less time than is required to microwave a burrito would be "familiar" with the score is a bit ludicrous. Here's hoping they both are "familiar" with the score and this is why WNO has hired them.

Posted by: geddaisgod | March 30, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Well, Anne did pose the question "frivolously." I'm sure she knows that both singers have familiarity with the score. Second, it's not ludicrous to think that a singer who has microwave burrito time in the Met's "Hamlet" would become familiar with the score because he could hear some, most, or all of it during rehearsals.

Posted by: CruzerSF | March 30, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

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