Nelson Martinez To Replace Thomas Hampson In Verdi’s ‘La Traviata’

By Francisco Salazar

Nelson Martínez will sing the role of Giorgio Germont in tonight’s performance of Verdi’s “La Traviata” at the Metropolitan Opera

The Cuban baritone will replace the originally scheduled Thomas Hampson, who is ill.

Martínez made his Metropolitan Opera debut this season in the role of Monterone in Verdi’s “Rigoletto.” Born in Cuba, he graduated from the Superior Institute of the Arts and became the leading baritone with the Teatro Lirico “Rodrigo Prats” in Holguin.

He later joined the Teatro Lirico Nacional in Havana, where he performed such roles as Enrico in Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor”, Marcello in Puccini’s “La Bohème” and many other leading baritone roles.

He is also an advocate for Zarzuela and has performed such famed works as “El Cafetal”, “Cecilia Valdes”, “Maria la O”, “La del Manojo de Rosas”, “La Leyenda del Beso”, “La del Soto del Parral”, and “Luisa Fernanda”. This season he performed extensively with the Miami Lyric Opera.

Martínez will join Sonya Yoncheva and Michael Fabiano in the performance which will be conducted by Nicola Luisotti.

Hampson is scheduled to return to the role of Germont on March 4 and will perform through the 25.