Feb 19, 2008

Cinderella story

Paul Whelan, centre, Clive Barda's picture

Ever heard of ENO understudy bass-baritone Paul Whelan?
Last Saturday night, he saved the English National Opera performance of Lucia di Lammermoor.
When Clive Bayley (left on the picture), in the role of Raimondo, lost his voice after the first scene, Whelan, who was attending the show with a group of friends, was hurriedly ushered backstage but didn't have enough time to put the costume and had to sing from the side of the stage, while Bayley stayed in costume to mime for the next two hours.

This incredible story has been extensively reported on in the British press, of course.

- "Opera saved by a star in the wings as lead singer is taken ill", Benedict Moore-Bridger for the Evening Standard
- "Why the man in a suit took the curtain call in Lucia di Lammermoor", Andrew Pierce for The Telegraph
- "ENO's Lucia Offers Drama Off- and Onstage
Indisposition of two singers does not compromise the sense of sheer, familial madness", Keith Clarke for MusicalAmerica.com
- "Bravo for stand-in opera hero", The Sun
- "Is there a baritone in the house? Opera saved by a star in the audience as lead singer is taken ill", The Daily Mail
- "ENO understudy steps out of shadows", The First Post

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