Sicklist: Rolando Villazon’s out again

Sicklist: Rolando Villazon’s out again


norman lebrecht

June 16, 2017

The Mexican has cancelled on Vienna for L’Elisir d’Amore next week.

An unspecified illness, they say.


  • Ungeheuer says:

    This man is forever and ever cancelling away. Don’t understand the veneration some have for him. The question is why does he remain up for consideration for hire? For sure he must have an influential PR agent under retainership. But for how much longer?

    • AMetFan says:

      For the simple reason that he is a very special artist. Just like I would risk a cancellation to hear Gheorghiu (or years ago, Stratas), Mr. Villazon can deliver magic.

      • Anonymouse says:

        What absolute rubbish.

        The key component of artistry is the ability to create and present one’s creations. An absence of good vocal technique abnegates his ability to do so.

        • Respect says:

          How perceptive of you to warn us that your post is absolute rubbish up front.

          You know nothing of his health , personal life or stresses, so it’s arrogant and cruel for you from a distance to pronounce judgement.

          • AMetFan says:

            “Arrogant and cruel” is mother’s milk to many posters on SlippedDisk. Once I realized that fact, I just skip over certain respondents. They do nothing to further the conversation.

    • Sue says:

      He has never impressed me for a second. I’ve always wondered what the hype was about. Can somebody please explain?

      • Nik says:

        He went through a brief period circa 2005-2008 where he was capable of quite thrilling performances in difficult repertoire. Reminded me at the time of Luis Lima and Carreras at their best, in the sense that he gave 120% of his limited vocal resources and just about pulled it off, with a few cracked notes here and there to hint at how close to the bone he was singing. A warm, charismatic and passionate presence on stage as well. But the emphasis here is on “brief period”.

        • Anonymouse says:

          I would hardly say Luis Lima had limited vocal resources. His technique was superb. He did however, push himself to the limit physically. Wonderful memories of him leaping the rail in the final scene of the ROH Boheme and landing on his knees beside Mimi’s bed – the audience in tears…

  • CommonSense says:

    At this point, his voice is permanently shot and has been for SOME time. Truth be told, a significant number of people who pay to see him (and many opera performers) simply have NO IDEA what a truly magnificent operatic voice IS and SOUNDS LIKE.
    Opera is about gorgeous, quality singing. Always has been. Fck that “he’s such an expressive artist” crap. And don’t give me excuses about his “health”. HE KNOWS he can’t deliver the goods anymore. He continues to take your money.

    • Anonymouse says:

      Exactly. Someone on here last week referred to Ludovic Tezier as ‘one hell of a Verdi baritone’. Really? One, he’s not a Verdi baritone (a bass-baritone with an extended upper register) and secondly, how would he fancy his chances put on stage next to Zancanaro or Bastianini in their prime?

      • Nik says:

        The label “Great Verdi Baritone” seems to be subject to personal taste.
        I remember Bruson being described as such by critics and a devoted fanbase. I always found his voice tight and nasal and his stage presence dull as dishwater. I never got on with Nucci either. Maybe I’m the problem.

        • Anonymouse says:

          Indeed, a Verdi baritone is not, in fact, a baritone at all – rather a bass-baritone with an extension. In the same way a Verdi mezzo is not a mezzo, but a contralto with an extension. Trying to turn a lyric baritone into a Verdi baritone is a fool’s errand. You get none of that dark ease and thrilling, rapier-like blade that you do with a true Verdi baritone.

          • Dale says:

            A Verdi baritone is not a bass baritone with an extension. Maybe in his pants, but not in his voice. He is a baritone, pure and simple. All men are baritones until proven otherwise. And by the way, Villazon is a fucking idiot. How many times does anyone have to destroy his voice and career before he finds someone to help him before it’s too late? With him it is much, much too late. And he’s much, much too stupid.

  • Terrie Tackett says:

    Just tossing an idea out there….perhaps with all of the terrorism in Europe, he is afraid of performing.

  • Mario Lutz says:

    I can not avoid my suspicions when I read yesterday in COE facebook:
    Only one week left before we start rehearsing La Clemenza di Tito at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden with superstars Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Rolando Villazón (…)
    TO BE RECORDED FOR Deutsche Grammophon ….

  • I went last night not knowing Villazon had cancelled. Was probably lucky … Jinxu Xiahou was great as Nemorino. The rest of the cast was enjoyable. The Schenk production was a little dull.

  • markus says:

    Ps…. the “mexican” sounds a little offensive. You need a noun to go with the adjective.