The Met’s managers were tearing their hair out trying to find a late replacement for an ailing James Morris, who was due to sing Scarpia in Tosca that evening. Then someone saw Bryn Terfel quietly sitting in the audience for a matinee performance of Wozzeck. Terfel is in New York to play Wotan in the Met’s new production of Die Walküre, which opens on Friday.
A whispered message was passed to the Welshman during a scene- change. He rushed back to his apartment with a score of Tosca, brushed up on a role that he had sung earlier this season, and burst on stage as Puccini’s malevolent sadist a few hours later.
Photo: Bryn as Baron Scarpia in Tosca, ROH June 2006 by Brian Tarr