Late last week the Mexican tenor, on the advice of his doctors, withdrew from all of his scheduled appearances for the next two months. He had previously cancelled a pair of concerts at this summer's Salzburg Festival and several gala performances with Anna Netrebko, Elina Garanca and Ludovic T_zier in Germany.
Roberto Alagna will fill in for Villaz‹n as Rom_o for the first two dates of the run, September 25 and 29. (Alagna then goes on to sing Pinkerton, opposite Patricia Racette as Cio-Cio-San, in six performances of Anthony Minghella's acclaimed staging of Madama Butterfly, beginning October 8.)
While no substitute has yet been announced for Villaz‹n's October Rom_os, he is still scheduled to sing the role for four performances in December, including the Saturday matinee on the 15th, the first of the coming season's eight high-definition simulcasts. Matthew Polenzani takes over for the final two performances, on December 27 and 31. Netrebko is to sing the role of Juliette for the entire run.
Plšcido Domingo will conduct the Gounod opera on all of those dates but the last two, when Paul Nadler steps in.
More information is available at www.metopera.org.