Juan Diego Florez encored “Pourquoi me réveiller” at the latest performance of Massenet’s “Werther.” The tenor has been singing the role at the Teatro Communale di Bologna where he is making his staged role debut alongside Isabel Leonard.
The famed aria is one of the showstopping pieces in the opera but it is rare to hear an encore in this work and even rarer still to see an encore at an opera house. However, Florez has made a speciality of pleasing his audiences and has broken many rules. Back in 2008 Florez broke the famed encore ban at the Metropolitan Opera and became the first since soloist 1994 to give an encore. The aria was “Ah! Mes Amis,” from Donizetti’s “La Fille du Regiment,” which features nine High C’s. He did the same in 2007 at La Scala in the same aria and became the first soloist since 1933 to do an encore. And then in 2012 at the Met he gave another encore in “Una Furtive Lagrima” from Donizetti’s “L’Elisir D’Amore” during a radio broadcast.
The tenor is one of the most celebrated in the world and he has recently moved into heavier repertoire. He recently sang his first “Les Huguenots” and is slated to perform Verdi’s “La Traviata” at the Metropolitan Opera alongside Diana Damrau in 2018. He is also scheduled to sing Gennaro in his first performances of Donizetti’s “Lucrezia Borgia.” However, he is still maintaining his light bel canto roles as he will perform in Bellini’s “La Sonnanbula” at the Vienna State Opera and will also continue his extensive concert schedule.