Spanish tenor Plácido Domingo has been forced to withdraw from the upcoming Royal Opera production of Tamerlano as he will be recovering from surgery. He had been due to play the role of Bajazet for five performances in March.
A spokesperson for the singer confirmed that during a week of performances in Tokyo Domingo had been feeling physical discomfort and lower abdominal pain for which, after having undergone a medical examination, he will now receive “medically recommended preventive surgery”.
It is hoped that Domingo, who rose to popular fame singing alongside Luciano Pavarotti and José Carreras as the Three Tenors, will be fit enough to complete his second 2010 engagement with the Royal Opera; he is scheduled to play the title role in the company’s June production of Simon Boccanegra.
The 2010 season was due to be a ground-breaking one for the 69-year-old singer. His 225th and 226th appearance at the Royal Opera House would have marked the first time he had sung both tenor and baritone roles in one season. Speaking when his Covent Garden appearances were first announced, he said: “It will be a joy for me to return there next season and present my two most recent roles to the London public.”
Bajazet will now be played by American tenor Kurt Streit, who was already due to make his debut in the role in performances on 13 and 17 March.
The Royal Opera House commented that “Although it is not customary Royal Opera House policy, in recognition of the withdrawal of such an exceptional artist in a rarely-performed opera, we will be contacting all ticket holders with details of a 20% credit note.”