Cessa di più resistere is an aria for the tenor (Almaviva) in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. It occurs near the end of of the opera. For a very long time it was omitted – for two reasons. First it place the focus on the tenor at the expense of both the title character and the soprano (or mezzo soprano). Second it’s extremely difficult. Rockwell Blake sang it ate the Met in his 1988 performances  of Rossini’s masterpiece. Juan Diego Flórez brought the aria to prominence as has Javier Camarena.

The piece is typical sung by a tenor with a smallish voice who has both acuti and agility. Michael Spyres, who is the most versatile tenor since Leo Slezak, sang Almaviva in a concert performance of The Barber May 19 of this year in Paris. The aria sounds very different when sung by a big voiced tenor who can negotiate all its difficulties while managing low notes and a rich sound.

The YouTube video of Spyres rendition is below. In case the video goes walkabout a link to the video is underneath the YouTube one. Spyres will make his Met debut next season in just two performances of Berlioz’ Damnation of Faust. What his future at the New York barn holds after that is unknown to me.

Michael Spyres Cessa di più resistere