Nino Machaidze and Charles Castronovo in "Roméo et Juliette" (photo by Robert Millard)
On Saturday, tenor Vittorio Grigolo warned us that he had a bad cold and might not be able to sing the role of Roméo at the next day’s performance of Roméo et Juliette. Saturday also happened to be the evening of the “Placido Domingo & Friends 25th Anniversary Gala.” One of the guest performers was tenor Charles Castronovo, a longtime LA Opera favorite who had created the title role in last season’s world premiere of Il Postino. We asked him if he would consider staying an extra day in Los Angeles, just in case, and he agreed. Sadly, Grigolo was indeed forced to cancel on his doctor’s orders, but we now had another world-class tenor, who had performed Roméo earlier this year in Dallas, ready to go on. With just two hours to learn the staging and the tricky fight scene, and with fantastic onstage assistance from Nino Machaidze as Juliette, Castronovo gave a beautiful, heroic performance that stunned our audience. We are grateful for his appearance and congratulate him on a job well done!