Jonathan Pell, Summer of Opera, Part 19

by Megan Meister

I had an early dinner with Ailyn Perez last night and was glad to be able to catch up with all the wonderful things that are going on with her career, including her Covent Garden and Metropolitan Opera debuts.  It was hard to tear myself away before we could have dessert, but the curtain time the last two weeks of the season in Santa Fe is 8:00 p.m., and there simply wasn’t time !

The performance was LA BOHEME which was to star Ana Maria Martinez and David Lomeli, but Mr. Lomeli had taken ill before the previous performance and I already knew that he had not recovered yet, so his “cover” was going on again.  This young man, Jason Slayden, had been a Santa Fe Apprentice the previous two summers, and was here this year for a supporting role in WOZZECK.   Jason is from Plano, so I was looking forward to seeing him step into the role of “Rodolfo.”

On my way to the opera house I received a message that Ana Maria was also ill, and she also had to cancel.  In her place was to be a second year apprentice named Danielle Pastin, who I had noted as a very promising young soprano after last summer’s Santa Fe Apprentice Concert.

I am sure that it was a challenge for conductor Leonardo Vordoni and all the rest of the cast, but from the audience’s perspective, everyone seemed relaxed and comfortable and remarkably well rehearsed.

It was a delight to see such young and eager singers rise to the occasion, and Miss Pastin was particularly impressive.

She will be featured in a scene from MANON in this Sunday evening’s Apprentice Concert, and I look forward to hearing her again.

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