In the grand tradition of a star is born and the show must go on young American soprano Rachele Gilmore made an unscheduled debut at New York’s Metropolitan Opera tonight as Olympia in Offenbach’s Les Contes Hoffman. She was given only three hour’s notice that Kathleen Kim was ill and that she was up. She was so up that she hit several high Gs and an A-flat above high C. There was considerable discussion as to whether that was the highest note ever sung at the Met. Regardless, it was a remarkable performance.There were runs and trills all taken miles above the staff. She was in Mado Robin territory. She even managed to keep her tone from going shrill. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything quite like it – an exceptional talent. Here is her big aria; listen for yourself. Tales of Hoffmann – Doll Song
Obviously, a debut like this one doesn’t happen very often. It certainly is going to fill her engagement book for quite a while. It will be fun to see what happens to this young singer. The future is hers to grab. Roberta Peters made a great career at the Met after a similar start.
According to her web site, she “received her Bachelor’s of Music from Indiana University and continued with Graduate studies at Boston University. She was a member of the Young Artist Programs of Glimmerglass Opera (for two seasons), Florida Grand Opera, and Aspen Music Festival’s Opera Center.”
If you want to hear what the lower half of Ms Gilmore’s voice sounds like listen to this. Gilmore – Orff
Here’s a video of the Met performance. The sound is not as good as the clip above.