NEW YORK (AP) — The Metropolitan Opera's final performance this season of Mozart's last opera, "La Clemenza di Tito," was notable for the unexpected company debut of mezzo-soprano Geraldine Chauvet.
The 38-year-old French singer took over Monday night as Sesto on short notice in place of Elina Garanca, who was ill.
Chauvet had made her first U.S. appearance in January in another trouser's role, as Adriano in a concert performance of Wagner's "Rienzi" with the Opera Orchestra of New York and has sung "Carmen" in several European houses.
With a winning smile and agile range, she made a strong impression in her first-act aria, "Parto, parto," when Sesto agrees to murder his friend Tito, the emperor of Rome who later pardons him — hence the title "The Clemency of Tito."
In addition to shimmering singing, her strong-yet-vulnerable manner contributed to a well-rounded portrayal. The crowd responded with strong applause.
The rest of the sturdy cast in the two-act opera seria was unchanged from most performances of the run, headed by tenor Giuseppe Filianoti as Tito and soprano Barbara Frittoli as Vitellia, daughter of the deposed Emperor Vitellio. Conductor Harry Bickett led a lively performance.