Alfredo crashes out in middle of Mehta’s Traviata

Alfredo crashes out in middle of Mehta’s Traviata


norman lebrecht

October 20, 2013

Trouble last night in Valencia, where the tenor Ivan Magri started the performance with an inflammation of the vocal cords that got progressively worse. He was replaced on stage by a stage manager in costume who went through the moves, and offstage by another tenor plucked from a Walküre rehearsal. The show went on. Read here.

The  sbustitute was the Austrian tenor Nikolai Schukoff. The stage manager has not been named


  • Schukoff is brilliant. I don’t know Magri but I can’t imagine the performance suffered.

  • Una says:

    Where was the understudy in all of this? Seems this original guy with ‘an inflammation of the vocal cords’ should not have even contemplated singing, and by doing so will only worsen the condition and verge on vocal suicide if that is what the laryngologist diagnosed. If it was a head cold, then that’s different and you can get by, but tricky. ENO and ROH are used to that kind of thing and I’ve been there when it’s happened but not with a stage manager!! There should always be an understudy but some opera companies just don’t take understudying serious enough. Both Kent and Scottish in my day did, and if you were the understudy, you had to know it, and what’s more, you went on!!

  • Carlos Aransay says:

    According to this account, the tenor had a problem with his “cervicals”, not his vocal cords.

  • PK Miller says:

    Wow–sometimes the show MUST go on! But they don’t have a cover? It’s a good thing it was a mainstream opera like Traviata. The company would be in serious deep doo-doo if it had been Shostakovich’s The Nose, e.g. We all perform when we’re ill, etc. We all know better but sometimes we do even if it’s not a matter of being afraid we might be replaced. I sang a recital once coming off a a bout of laryngitis so severe I could not even whisper for over a week! What came out was decidedly baritone and while I’ve sung baritone professionally later in life, in that era, almost 40 years ago, I may have been a Heldentenor but I was unmistakably tenor! It reminds me of the time at The Met where 3 tenors each sang an act of Boheme! If you’re not feeling well, don’t sing!

  • PK Miller says:

    A quick addendum to my comment. Even if you may lose money if you don’t sing, DON’T! It always surprises me when people who earn their living with their voices strain those voices, e.g. an area radio personality who insisted on going on when he was seriously hoarse only to lose his voice completely for 2 weeks!

  • Lyla says:

    As Carlos said, the problem was with his CERVICAL.

    And to add some other info: He was replaced on stage by the CHOREOGRAPHER of this revival.

  • López Vargas says:

    “un miembro del equipo de coreografía representaba en el escenario el personaje de Alfredo”

    No stage manager was named either. “Miembro del equipo de coreografia” means A member of the choreographic team. And “cervical” has nothing to do with vocal cords.

    A bit of seriousness Mr Lebrecht.