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The Next Big Sing


When Luciano Pavarotti became a no-show at his unannounced operatic farewell at the Metropolitan last May, an era definitely came to an end. But fear not. Tenors are not yet an extinct species, and the Met has plenty more waiting in the wings. Here are just a few to anticipate in the months to come.

Plácido Domingo

This apparently indestructible primo tenore carries on, first as the star of this year's opening-night gala on September 23 and later as Andrea Chénier. Rumors that chunks of Giordano's opera will be transposed down for the veteran divo are surely nothing but slander.

Juan Diego Flórez

Everyone, it seems, loves this boyishly dashing tenore di grazia, even though his light voice is unlikely to take him far beyond the bel canto roles that are now his specialty. Beginning on September 28, Flórez sings Prince Ramiro in Rossini's La Cenerentola.

Marcello Giordani

When he's at his best, no other Italian tenor now matches him in the spinto Verdi-Puccini repertory. On October 21, Giordani tests his mettle in Bellini, singing the title role in the new Met production of Il Pirata with Renée Fleming.

Marcelo Álvarez

So far, his Met outings have not generated the excitement one might expect from his recordings, which reveal a sweet and plangent tenor especially suited to French opera. Perhaps he will get lucky as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, beginning November 11.

Neil Shicoff

After a three-year absence, Shicoff returned to the Met in 2000, and his fans are the happier for it. His European triumph, Eléazar in Halévy's La Juive, won't arrive at the Met until next season, but on January 2 he offers another of his specialties, Don José in Bizet's Carmen.

Salvatore Licitra

The tenor who stepped in for Pavarotti last spring to make his Met debut, Licitra is currently booked up and will not return until the season after next. For those who missed him, he will be at Carnegie Hall on January 23 with the Collegiate Chorale in a concert performance of Verdi's La Forza del Destino.


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