Baritone Jason Stearns stepped in for ailing Carlo Guelfi at the Metropolitan Opera Saturday night, singing the lead baritone role of Barnaba. Mr. Stearns, who received final word about the cancellation at 7:10 PM, was received warmly by the in-house audience. Martin Bernheimer, of the Financial Times, said:
"Barnaba, the villain with a heart of ice, should have been Carlo Guelfi, but illness forced the last-minute substitution of Jason Stearns. Jason Stearns? He had once served in the Met chorus and undertaken tiny solos. In spite of a few pardonably rough patches, one had to admire his firm, wide-ranging baritone, not to mention his steadfast bravado."
Upcoming engagements for Mr. Stearns include Tonio in Pagliacci in matinee performances at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Monterone in Rigoletto at the Met, and the title role in Rigoletto at Baltimore Opera.