Saturday, April 23, 2011

Arnold Rawls Makes Unexpected MET Debut

Rawls as Manrico at the Bregenz Festival
Tenor Arnold Rawls stepped in for an indisposed Marcelo Álvarez for the second half of this evening's performance of Il Trovatore at the Metropolitan Opera. He was told at the end of the intermission that he would need to go back stage and get into costume to sing. An announcement was made to the audience that there would be an extra few minutes to allow the transition. For those who know the opera, the music that begins Act II, scene 3 is some of the most difficult for the role of Manrico during the whole evening. He opens with "Ah si, ben mio coll'essere" and quickly moves to "Di quella pira l'orrendo foco," a feat that would test the mettle of the most seasoned tenor who has also had the advantage of Act 1 to warm-up. Mr. Rawls basically went on cold and blew the audience away it what became his Metropolitan Opera debut. Roars of "bravo" thundered the opera house after his arias and the crowd leapt to its feet for his curtain call. Despite the interruption it may have caused the other singers who had to take extra time during the break when they were ready to get back on stage and sing, the cast change proved a thrilling evening for the tenor and the audience. The Louisiana-native has previously sung the role of Manrico in Il Trovatore for Bregenz Festival (Austria), Opera Southwest, Teatro Lirico, Mobile Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Seattle Opera and in concert with the Elmhurst Symphony. For more information about Arnold Rawls visit his website: