Not since the early seventies, when Luciano Pavarotti knocked opera’s nine most famous high notes into the Met balcony to become King of the High C’s, has a tenor done justice to the role of Tonio in Donizetti’s La Fille du Régiment. Last night, though, Juan Diego Flórez plucked the chain of C’s in Tonio’s aria “Ah, mes amis” like daisies, making it look less like a feat than like fun. With his slender voice and lithe silhouette, Flórez looks, sounds, and acts nothing at all like Pavarotti, but he did get a Luciano-size ovation. And when the applause finally subsided, he did the number again, with a grin that suggested he could keep ringing those top notes all night. That scant minute of music alone was enough to turn Flórez into a princeling of the high C’s – but not to out-dazzle soprano Natalie Dessay, who sang the role of regimental daughter with a glint in her voice and fierce comedic control. The public didn’t know whom to roar for loudest. —Justin Davidson
Most Viewed Stories
20 Marvel ‘Firsts’ in Jessica Jones
Why Leonardo DiCaprio’s Turn in The Revenant Will Be Hard to Beat at the Oscars
Who the Jessica Jones Characters Are in the Comics and How They Connect to the Marvel Universe
All My Children Actor David Canary Has Died
Behind Jessica Jones’s Unprecedented Sex Scenes
In Praise of Adele, My Fat, Flawless Heroine
The Captain America: Civil War Trailer Is Here, and It’s a Big Bucky Hunt
Watch Adele’s ‘Hello’ Get the Classroom-Instrument Treatment on Fallon’s Tonight Show
Grease: Live Teaser: The Dancing Is in the Hands
Fargo Recap: Different Journeys, Same Destination
Latest News from VultureWatch Paul Dano and Michael Caine Talk About Selling Out in Youth
As Caine’s character warns, “Levity is also a perversion.”Watch Adele’s ‘Hello’ Get the Classroom-Instrument Treatment on Fallon’s Tonight Show
Featuring a banana and a flip phone.Someone Has Finally Thrown Down a Stupid Amount of Money for That Insane Wu-Tang Double Album
The amount has not been disclosed, but it's "in the millions," according to the auction house.Scream Queens Recap: Head of the Table
Has anyone ever seen one of those electric turkey carvers in real life? No.The Captain America: Civil War Trailer Is Here, and It’s a Big Bucky Hunt
Wowowowowow.And Your Dancing With the Stars Season 21 Winner Is ...
Drum roll, please.Sly and the Family Stone’s Cynthia Robinson Has Died
She was 69.Grease: Live Teaser: The Dancing Is in the Hands
No, really.Limitless Recap: A Farewell to Arms
The show hints at a not-so-distant future where robots kill us all.All My Children Actor David Canary Has Died
He was 77.
"If you fail, the girl dies with you."The Man in the High Castle Recap: Speak No Evil
"Nobody talks about the camps."Natalie Dormer on The Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, and the Fate of Men Named ‘Snow’
"Gwendoline Christie and I are the Hunger Thrones girls! We're the Game of Games girls!"Julian Fellowes Really Wants the Downton Abbey Movie to Happen
Six seasons and a movie!Will the Beatles Ever Come Around on Streaming Services?
The Beatles would be the ultimate feather in any streaming service's cap. But will the iconic band ever deign to go free when their records still sell?5 Best New Songs of the Week
Is it too early for Christmas music? CRJ says no!Who the Jessica Jones Characters Are in the Comics and How They Connect to the Marvel Universe
Get the backstories.Jessica Jones Recap: Selfie Help
Kilgrave's face finally gets a much-deserved punch.Kevin Bacon to Star and Exec-Produce the Tremors TV Reboot; We’re Wriggling With Excitement (Like a Big Worm)
Who wants to play Six Degrees of Worms?Jason Street Will Play Coach Taylor in the Unauthorized Musical of Friday Night Lights
Clear eyes, full lungs!