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Pinch Hitters

September 06, 2009


By now it’s well known that LA Opera’s season opener, Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore, which will kick off this Saturday, has undergone another cast change. After injuring his leg during rehearsals, Ruggero Raimondi, scheduled to sing the part of Dr. Dulcamara, has withdrawn to be replaced by Giorgio Caoduro. He will now join Giuseppe Filianoti as Nemorino, Nino Machaidze as Adina, and Nathan Gunn as Belcore. In case you’re keeping score that’s two replacements (Filianoti taking over for an ailing Rolando Villazon) and three company debuts (everyone except Gunn.) All things considered, this is not a bad cast at all in the end considering the rising profiles of many of these vocalists. Caoduro sang Belcore in San Francisco Opera’s last L’Elisir in the fall of 2008. In case you’re wondering what these locally unknown quantities may have in store, check out Caoduro and Machaidze in the sample amateur clip above from Lucia di Lammermoor earlier this year at Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.



wow--replacing a legend with a regional nobody...Good work, LA Opera.
Well, considering that Raimondi injured himself during the final week of rehearsals, I hardly think it's the LAO's fault that they had to find a last minute replacement with whoever was available. And lord knows that Dulcamara is hardly one of the most complex and demanding roles in the operatic rep. Living legend or not, this is hardly that big of a deal. Here's wishing Mr. Raimondi a speedy recovery.
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