Mexican tenor David Lomeli, who was scheduled to sing the Alfredo role in the Houston Grand Opera production of La Traviata, has had to bow out at the last minute due to illness.
He has been replaced for at least the first several performances by Bryan Hymel, a New Orleans native who made his debut last season at Teatro alla Scala singing Don José in Carmen, the press release said. This will be Hymel's HGO debut. He will also return to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden to sing the role of the Prince in their first staging of Rusalka.
Lomeli had talked with Art Attack as he was preparing for the role and was looking forward to it a great deal.
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In a press release announcing the change, HGO Managing Director Perryn Leech said: "We wish Mr. Lomeli the very best, and hope that he will continue to recuperate and that he may be able to join us for future projects."
The press release also said: "Hymel was the top prize winner in the 2009 Gerda Lissner Foundation Competition, and Frist-prize winner of the 2008 Licia Albanese/Puccini Foundation Competition, the 2008 Loren L. Zachary Vocal competition, and the 2008 Giulio Gari Foundation Competition. He studied at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia and was also a member of the San Francisco Opera Center's Merola Program."
Houston Grand Opera's production of La Traviata runs January 27 through February 12 at the Wortham Theater Center's Brown Theater, Texas Avenue at Smith Street. For tickets call 713-228-6737 or go to www.houstongrandopera.org.