Alagna is replaced at the Met

Alagna is replaced at the Met


norman lebrecht

October 03, 2018

The French tenor Roberto Alagna declared himself unable to sing the third act of Samson et Delilah on Monday night.

His replacement was Kristian Benedikt, making an impromptu Met debut.

Alagna has five shows still to sing in this run. His substitute is now well warmed up.



  • Caravaggio says:

    As with Bayreuth’s Lohengrin, the man should have never been hired by Peter Gelb to start. Alagna needs to begin thinking about long holidays in the sun. But he shouldn’t seek advice from Plácido Domingo.

    • Nik says:

      To be fair, it’s a bit harsh to have to continue singing when you’ve just had your head shaved and your eyes gouged out.

  • Marcus Clayton says:

    I don’t know why singers sing when they are unwell, especially tenors.
    No one forgets when they sing a bad performance.
    If a tenor has a cold, their high notes will most certainly be affected. My guess is that Alagna will sit out a couple of performances so that he can be well for the Oct. 13 HD telecast.
    I wish the Met would replace the tenor Aleksandrs Antonenko in Saturdays Aida HD telecast. He was simply atrocious in last nights performance.
    The leading ladies of Aida deserve a better tenor, as does the Met’s audience.

    • Me! says:

      I thought he warmed up nicely- his first singing was simply unpleasant sounding but I thought he was effective and beautifully voiced in end

    • Arameo says:

      They sing because they need the money, and in many opera houses when they perform at least 2 acts out of 3 or 1 act out of 2 they get the complete fee, I am not sure is the rule a the MET though. If that the case Alagna knew he was not well and went for the money for 2 acts.

      • Me! says:

        Or he wanted his fans to see him perform because he knew many attending to see him, but confirmed couldn’t make requisite high notes in last act so stepped aside and let New singer shine – likely the best situation for the audience for that night; he is very wealthy not in physical need of money likely neurotic need

  • Marcus Clayton says:

    My mistake, the HD telecast of Samson et Delilah is Oct 20.

  • Diana Zaidman says:

    The life of a singer Its not easy but if you choose to be, Its necessáry to have such a life.

  • Diana Zaidman says:

    The life of a singer Its not easy but if you decide to be, you have to be a Good singer and have this type
    Of life .Good things and not Good things .

  • Musician says:

    I heard opening night was particularly brutal.

  • OldSchoolRightSchool says:

    Everyone can have an off night. No one is exempt.

    After Robert Wilson’s Parsifal in Los Angeles, even Domingo the Iron Horse had to reclaim his technique.

    The replacement of a singer in one act of one opera on one night may seem to present dubious optics on the heels of the Lohengrin cancellation; however, many would need to strain their memories to recall the last time Alagna, even singing the most outrageously unexpected repertoire, cancelled a performance

    We are not discussing Antonenko, or Neil Schicoff, whose covers make (or made) small fortunes; or now of Kaufmann, markedly younger than Alagna, yet still entering the ranks of the chronically unreliable

    Samson does not seem, from the outside, to be as challenging an endeavor as performing both Cavalleria and Pagliacci in the same evening, which we saw Alagna sing very successfully last season

    One could nitpick and wish for him to top out at Don Jose; but he never fails to put on a great show, and rarely if ever cancels

    Again, no one is exempt from an off night