La bohème - Royal Opera House, 17 December 2012
When Rodolfo sounds more consumptive than Mimì, you’ve got a problem. Post-surgery, Rolando Villazón has had his ups and downs, but he was singing much better in Salzburg this summer than he could manage last night in the 999th revival of John Copley's La bohème. The notes were (mostly) there; the volume wasn’t. Despite Mark Elder’s considerate restraint, the orchestra often washed over him, and he bottled a few key phrases, not to mention their money notes. I can only hope for Rolando’s sake it was just an off night, perhaps a touch of the respiratory lurgy that seemed to afflict half the audience.