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Zeljko Lucic Withdraws from the Met's CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA and AIDA Due to Illness

Željko Lucic has withdrawn from his spring Met engagements due to illness. In his place, George Gagnidze will sing Alfio in the new production of Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana. Gagnidze, who will also sing Tonio in Pagliacci as originally scheduled, will join Marcelo Álvarez in performing in both halves of the evening's double bill; Álvarez sings both Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana and Canio in Pagliacci.

Mark Delavan will replace Lucic as Amonasro in this April's performances of Verdi's Aida.

Gagnidze will sing his first Met performances of both Alfio and Tonio this season. He made his company debut in 2009, singing the title role in Verdi's Rigoletto. In subsequent seasons, he has sung the title role in Verdi's Macbeth, Shaklovity in Mussorgsky's Khovanshchina, Amonasro in Aida, and more than 20 performances of Scarpia in Puccini's Tosca, including the 2009 new production premiere.

Delavan made his Met debut as Amonasro in 2001 and returned to sing the role in three subsequent seasons, most recently in 2007. He has sung 14 roles in total at the Met over the course of his career, most recently Carlo Gérard in Giordano's Andrea Chénier, the title role in Verdi's Simon Boccanegra, Tomsky in Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades, Gianciotto in Zandonai's Francesca da Rimini, and Wotan in two complete cycles of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen.

The new production of Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci will be conducted by Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi and directed by Sir David McVicar. The double-bill, also starring Eva-Maria Westbroek as Santuzza, Patricia Racette as Nedda, and Lucas Meachem as Silvio, opens April 14 for eight performances through May 8.

Aida, conducted by Plácido Domingo, also stars Oksana Dyka in the title role, Violeta Urmana as Amneris, Marco Berti as Radamès, Štefan Kocán as Ramfis, and Ievgen Orlov as the King. The opera returns April 9 for four performances through April 20.

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