The Royal Opera Press Office has announced Rolando Villazón's cancellation of all engagements until the end of 2009.
Villazón's withdrawal is due to the diagnosis of a cyst on one of his vocal cords. The tenor needs to have it surgically removed as soon as possible so as to be able to recover completely.
As for the tenor engagements with Covent Garden, he will be unable to participate in the recital with Antonio Pappano on Wednesday 24 June. The Royal Opera will release further information about the event as soon as it is available.
Despite having cancelled this year's performances, his management Universal Music Classical Management & Productions has confirmed that the tenor will return to performing in 2010, which is due to include a new production of Massenet's Manon at Covent Garden. It will be the first collaboration of the tenor and his regular partner Anna Netrebko on the Royal Opera House stage.
Villazón has suffered continuously from throat problems in the past two years. However, doctors promise that he will make a complete comeback from the operation. Voice specialist and surgeon Dr Gerrit Wohlt from Berlin declared that 'Upon completion of the operation and the subsequent phase of rehabilitation we can expect the tenor to fully recover and return towards the end of the year'.
The tenor himself reassures his fans: 'I would like to apologise to my wonderful audience for any inconvenience these cancellations will cause them and want to express my gratitude for the loyalty and support of my fans and friends. I am greatly looking forward to be performing again in the coming year'. He also adds that further information will be available on his personal website.
Villazón's relationship with the Royal Opera is a long-standing one. He made his Royal Opera House debut in 2004 as Hoffmann in Les Contes d'Hoffmann, a role that he performed again in November 2008. Since his first appearance at Covent Garden, he has starred in many successful productions, such as Rodolfo in La bohème, the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto, Lensky in Eugene Onegin and the title role in Don Carlo in the past season.
For the Mexican tenor, this is the latest of a series of cancellations due to unavoidable medical reasons. His vocal troubles started in 2007, during a run of Manon with Natalie Dessay in Spain. He was eventually forced to take a break of several months before being able to perform again, causing him to pull out of a new production of L'elisir d'amore at Covent Garden. His condition again prevented him from being on stage recently for L'elisir d'amore at the Met, and he has cancelled his forthcoming appearance in a new production of Les Contes d’Hoffman planned to start in December, also at the Met.
Villazón has expressed his regret on his personal website: 'I am very sorry to disappoint those that had planned to see me perform in New York; as you can imagine I am extremely disappointed myself. I would like to thank all of you for your good wishes, they mean a lot to me'.
Photo: Rolando Villazón; Photo credits: Felix Broede/Deutsche Grammophon.
Review: Villazón stars in Don Carlo at the ROH
Review: Villazón stars in Les Contes d'Hoffmann at the ROH
CD Review: Villazón sings Handel (Gabrieli Players/Paul McCreesh, DG)
News: The Royal Opera announces the 2009-10 season
Have your say: discuss this article in our Forum.