"It is true that it was the first big premiere since the break. As much as I tried not to think about it, it was even more stressful (than normal),"
"I think it was high-intensity nerves, especially towards the second half"
The piece goes on to note that "applause on the night for Villazon ... was warm and loud, but several critics were less generous" with Richard Morrison of the Times finding Villazon's voice "more and more pressurized" as the evening progressed, and George Hall in The Stage thinking him "stressed and even out of tune. It's a role too big for his lyric tenor".
So who's right? Is it all over for Rolando?
Well, there was the odd crack, and an occasional hint of strain at the top. And I stress occasional. These were scattered flaws, barely worthy of comment, in an intensely committed performance of great musicality and dramatic conviction.
It sounded to me as if he was perhaps not in perfect health (his own comments about nerves make perfect sense). But he certainly wasn't in terminal vocal meltdown either, and it's wrong to assume that these issues detracted in any major way from the impact of his own performance, let alone the show as a whole.
I'm going back for a later show in the run, so I'll reserve my final judgement till then, but honestly? - I think the audience who gave Rolando such a warm hand at the final curtain had the measure of things.