Lots of offstage drama at Lyric Opera of Chicago this week. The company announced late Thursday that Mexican tenor José Luis Duval would make his house debut as Rodolfo in Puccini's "La boheme" on Thursday at the Civic Opera House. He replaces Dimitri Pittas, who canceled late in the afternoon due to illness.
That means this last performance of the first cast of "Boheme" had a pan-Latin favor, as Duval sang opposite Puerto Rican-born soprano Ana Maria Martinez as Mimi. So for one evening, there was an actual Latin Quarter in Puccini's evocation of 19th century Paris.
In March, "La boheme" returns with a second cast starring Joseph Calleja as Rodolfo and Anna Netrebko as Mimi.
Duval (shown here in concert last year in Mexico) made his Metropolitan Opera debut in this role in 2005, and also is serving as a cover this season at the Met. Recent assignments include Calaf in Puccini's "Turandot" and Don Jose in Bizet's "Carmen" at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City.