Brian Wise covers the classical music business for WQXR, including aspects of performance, technology, philanthropy and institutional trends. He produces the Café Concerts series and the podcast/show Conducting Business. He manages the station's homepage and makes sure what you hear on air is what you see online. Follow him on Twitter at @Briancwise.
Javier Camarena Gives Rare Encore at Metropolitan Opera
Saturday, April 26, 2014 - 09:00 AM
After the tenor Javier Camarena nailed multiple high Cs and even an interpolated high D in La Cenerentola at the Metropolitan Opera on Friday night, the audience cheered heartily. Camarena responded with something almost never heard on the Met stage: an encore.
The Mexican tenor was playing Don Ramiro in the second performance of a revival of the Rossini opera when the crowd responded with a prolonged ovation for his second act aria "Si, ritrovarla io giuro" (Yes, I swear I'll find her). The 38-year-old singer returned to the stage, and Fabio Luisi, the Met's principal conductor, repeated the aria.
According to the Met, Camarena is only the third singer in 70 years to perform an aria encore. Solo encores were routine in the 19th century but fell out of favor as performance practice grew more serious. At the Met they had been explicitly banned for much of the 20th century (in the 1920s, programs contained the phrase "POSITIVELY NO ENCORES ALLOWED").
Camarena was filling in for Juan-Diego Florez, who announced earlier this month that he would miss the first three performances of La Cenerentola due to illness. Florez himself broke the supposed encore ban twice: in Donizetti's La Fille du Regiment during four performances in 2008; and in Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore in 2012. Before that, the only similar occasion in modern times had been Luciano Pavarotti's repeating a tenor aria in Tosca in 1994, Met officials said.
Luisi and Camarena had discussed the possibility of an encore before the performance, deciding it would be tied to the audience response.
The Met released a video of Camarena singing "Si, ritrovarla io giuro," which can be seen below.
With the Associated Press. Updated at 1 pm.