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Did you know that there was a

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 23, 2008

Did you know that there was a ban on solo encores at the Metropolitan Opera? Not anymore. After Juan Diego Flórez busted out nine flawless high Cs in a tenor solo, the reaction from the audience compelled the singer into the first solo encore at the Met since 1994.

Peter Gelb, the Met’s general manager, said on Tuesday that he had asked Mr. Flórez weeks ago whether he would be prepared to repeat the aria, if the audience demanded. Mr. Fl’orez had already done so at other houses, including the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, where last year he became the first to violate an encore ban since 1933.

Mr. Flórez agreed to Mr. Gelb’s request, and the orchestra and chorus were warned. A system was established. Mr. Gelb kept an open line on the phone in his box to the stage manager. After the explosive reaction he gave the stage manager the go-ahead. The manager activated a podium light for the conductor, Marco Armiliato. Mr. Armiliato held out a questioning two fingers to Mr. Flórez. “He just smiled, and that means ‘Yes,’ ” the conductor said.

Flórez nailed all nine Cs in the encore too. The mp3 of the performance is a thrilling listen.