News has just arrived from the Metrolpolitan Opera that conductor Marco Armiliato will replace Maurizio Benini at performances of Rossini’s Barber of Seville tomorrow and Friday. He is currently at the company conducting two Vedi operas, Aida and Ernani. This means that he is to be on the podium for six out of seven performances at the Met this week.
That number of performances is what an opera conductor would typically lead during an entire run.
The Italian is a friendly, energetic and down-to-earth guy, who is really proving his mettle.
“This is the highest number of performances for a conductor in a single week in Met history,” said this morning’s press release.
The glamour of working for one of the world’s biggest opera producers is more like a grindstone, sometimes.
According to the company, Armiliato made his Met debut in 1998 leading Puccini’s La Bohème and has since conducted 20 operas with the company. These will be his first Met performances of Barber of Seville. Earlier this season, he conducted the Met’s opening-night production of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena, starring Anna Netrebko.
In this nice little intermission interview with Armiliato during a Met broadcast of Lucia di Lammermoor in 2009, with soprano Natalie Dessay, he says how the performance is actually easier than a rehearsal.
Armiliato’s secret to being able to do this? “A cold head, and a warm heart.”
Here he is showing his orchestral stuff at an opera gala concert in 2007, leading the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg in Camille Saint-Saëns’ Bacchanale: