Live on Radiotre, Italian listeners have been treated earlier tonight to a live broadcast of the premiere of La Bohéme from Teatro Carlo Felice in Genova. Cristina Gallardo Domâs was supposed to be Mimì, only she fell ill a few hours before the show was supposed to start. Alerted in the late afternoon, young American soprano Elaine Alvarez -- who only fourteen months ago had never sung in a major opera company -- as Cristina's understudy came to the rescue the way she did when Angela Gheorghiu was fired from Chicago's Bohème last year and Elaine A., her understudy, stepped in and made critics swoon.
La Alvarez barged ahead with her trademark warm colors, displaying her blooming powerful soprano and -- judging by the audience's reactions, since we obvs had no visuals -- her knack for raw, emotional acting that made her Chicago Mimi such a treat.
After coming in from the wings to pwn first Gheorghiu, then Gallardo Domâs, we have only a piece of advice to sopranos she'll end up in the same production of Bohéme with: worry.
Audio update: download the first act of last night Bohème by clicking here
It's a free Mediafire link:
(photo above courtesy Kristin Hoebermann/CAMI)