Star US tenor has coughing fit in Munich premiere

Star US tenor has coughing fit in Munich premiere


norman lebrecht

March 12, 2018

We hear the Bryan Hymel had to be substituted during last night’s premiere of Verdi’s Sicilian Vespers at Bavarian State Opera.

After a coughing fit in the fourth act, he was replaced by Leonardo Caimi, singing from the wings.

The US soprano Rachel Willis-Sørensen and Uruguayan bass-baritone Erwin Schrott sustained the show.

Omer Meir Wellber conducted.

Let us know if you were there. No reviews have yet appeared.



  • Richard Gibbs says:

    Gott im Hymel!

    • Olassus says:

      God is indeed in Hymel (on most evenings) …

      But God is most definitely not with this atrocious production, in which, among other things, hip-hop music is substituted for Verdi’s long “four seasons” ballet — with Omer Meir Wellber complicit and wearing hip-hop headphones for the episode.

      And yes, there was a review on BR 24 during the night.

      • Nik says:

        Quite a positive review. And they seem to think it was techno, not hip hop.
        Ballet interludes in grands operas are tedious and awkward, whichever way they are done. What’s the harm in trying something different?

  • Caravaggio says:

    Not really a star. However, the episode has to be any singer’s worst nightmare come true.

  • Lawrence Kershaw says:

    They were very lucky to have Caimi; marvellous voice!

  • AB says:

    Bryan has been sick for last weeks and missed almost all the rehearsals to recover for the premiere. He sang well till the big aria in the 4th act – although it was evident that he was fighting with a cough attack – and was close to loose the control. But he mastered it in a very professional way.
    Poor Caimi was told already that Hymel would finish the show – when suddenly Hymel went off stage and told that he can’t go on… Caimi had literally 2 minutes to warm up the voice… Bravo for both professionals to save the show.

  • Nik says:

    Did Caimi not rehearse the production? If he did, why did he stay in the wings?
    Presumably Hymel had to keep acting until the end, despite his coughing fit.

    • AB says:

      As far as I know, Caimi did not rehearse the production. There was no announcement or break either, because in this production acts 4 and 5 are staged without a break or curtain.

      Caimi sang fron the side

    • Razz Matazz says:

      I doubt if Caimi would have had a lot of time at his disposal for rehearsals. He is currently singing Turiddu at La Monnaie.

      • Nik says:

        What was he doing in the house then? Did they invite him specifically to sit in the wings in case Hymel couldn’t finish?

  • Sharon says:

    Could it have something to do with not having the time to get into costume?