BWW Showstopper: Audience Insists 'Encore! Encore!' and Camarena Does It Again in FILLE DU REGIMENT at the Met

BWW Showstopper: Audience Insists 'Encore! Encore!' and Camarena Does It Again in FILLE DU REGIMENT at the Met
Javier Camarena. Photo: Marty Sohl/The Met

Tenor Javier Camarena set a record last night with his encore of "Ah, mes amis!" as Tonio in the season's first performance of Donizetti's LA FILLE DU REGIMENT. It was the first time that anyone was called out for an encore in three different operas-in his case, Rossini's LA CENERENTOLA, Donizetti's DON PASQUALE and this one.

That's more than Luciano Pavarotti or Juan Diego Florez-the only others to be brought out for a bis of an aria in the last 50 years. Don't know "Mes amis!"? That's the one with nine high Cs-and gave Pavarotti his nickname "King of the High Cs". So this time around, Camarena obliged with 18 Cs. Pretty impressive in the course of 15 minutes or so!

It was a great night at the Met, with other star performances from soprano Pretty Yende as Marie, mezzo Stephanie Blythe as the Marquise de Berkenfield and guest actress Kathleen Turner as the Duchesse de Krakenthorp. Plus a sock-o debut for conductor Enrique Mazzola.

BWW Showstopper: Audience Insists 'Encore! Encore!' and Camarena Does It Again in FILLE DU REGIMENT at the Met
Javier Camarena and chorus in LA FILLE
DU REGIMENT. Photo: Marty Sohl/The Met

When I interviewed Camarena during his run of Bizet's LES PECHEURS DE PERLES in December, he told me, "I remember the kind of joy and excitement I had the first time I sang Tonio in FILLE," he explains. "It's a nice role, a gratifying role for the voice, so when I sing it I really, really enjoy it. But I don't think I will sing a lot of it in the future," he continues. "Not because of any vocal challenges it presents but the personality. There are other things I really want to do, to keep developing as an artist."

I wonder how he feels about it today?!

Watch tomorrow for a full review of LA FILLE DU REGIMENT, including more about Camarena.

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From This Author Richard Sasanow

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