Saturday, April 11, 2015 (Liz’s birthday)
The MET Opera
I was childlike. I sat in the front seat next to cab driver chattering all the way. This is my first time…. a lifelong dream.. I can’t believe I am going to a live performance at the MET.
We arrived at Lincoln Center almost an hour before the opera was scheduled to begin. We were attending Verdi’s Don Carlo. The production had been given stellar views. Because we were early, we visited the MET gift shop. I was in heaven.
As we waited in the forger before the ushers allowed us in, I noticed a white slip of paper extending out of my program. The small slip of paper said that the role of Don Carlo will be sung today by Mr. ______because Yonghoon Lee is ill.
The lead role was a substitute. I wondered to myself, when did this tenor get the call. How much time did he have to prepare? What must it be like to asked to come in at the last minute and sing a major operatic role.
By the first intermission I whispered to Sallie, the lead tenor is in trouble. By the second intermission, the rumors were flying that he would be replaced. Before the curtain went up, an announcer came out and said Mr.____is not feeling well but has decided to finish the opera. We ask for your patience.
He finished the opera but his voice was clearly in trouble. At the end when the cast came out for their final bow, he came out last. Most applauded but some choose to boo. I clapped politely.
I remember the first Sunday of January waking up so sick and unable to speak. I called Rev. Bill Corey at 7:3o a.m. and asked if he could preach for me. He did and did it well.
I thank God for those who are willing to put their necks on the line and serve as substitutes.