NEW YORK (AP) — Star tenor Jonas Kaufmann has canceled his appearances as Chevalier des Grieux in the Metropolitan Opera's new production of Puccini's "Manon Lescaut," which opens Feb. 12.
The Met said Tuesday that Kaufmann is ill and will be replaced by Roberto Alagna, who will make his role debut. Kaufmann also canceled his only Met appearances last season, two performances of a revival of Bizet's "Carmen."
To learn the Richard Eyre staging, Alagna is withdrawing from his remaining performances of a revival of Leoncavallo's "Pagliacci" and will be replaced by Marco Berti.
Alagna had studied des Grieux in 2006 for a production at the Teatro Regio in Turin, Italy, that he withdrew from because of illness.
Kristine Opolais sings the title role in "Manon Lescaut," which has nine performances through March 11. The March 5 matinee will be broadcast worldwide.