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Alumnus makes triumphant Metropolitan Opera debut

January 11, 2013

Loyola University New Orleans alumnus Bryan Hymel ’01 made his Metropolitan Opera debut last month when he stepped in as a last-minute replacement in its production of Berlioz’ epic opera, “Les Troyens.” The acclaimed tenor not only saved the day and the production, he earned rave reviews from New York critics and colleagues.

The 33-year-old New Orleans native took over the daunting role of Aeneas from Marcello Giordani, who was vocally unstable when the production began its run in early December. After a lackluster beginning, Giordani announced his withdrawal from the final four performances and that Hymel would be his replacement.

In describing Hymel’s successful debut, New York Times classical music critic Anthony Tommasini wrote, “Mr. Hymel’s voice, over all, is dark hued and muscular, with a quick vibrato and earthy texture and quite even throughout its range. Mr. Hymel sang with unflagging stamina and impetuous abandon, capped with some exciting full-voiced top notes.”

Hymel had just completed a well-received run in Meyerbeer’s “Robert le Diable” at London’s Royal Opera House at Covent Garden before arriving in New York to step into the role. The only other time he had appeared on the Met stage was in 2000, when at 20 he was a finalist in the Met’s National Council Auditions concerts.

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