Opera Rara and the Hallé announce two cast changes in their upcoming recording and performance of the original 1857 version of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra.

Nicola Alaimo has had to withdraw from the production due to illness and Argentinian baritone Germán Enrique Alcántara will now sing the title role of Simon Boccanegra.

A graduate of the Royal Opera House’s Jette Parker Young Artist scheme, Alcántara has been prize-winner in many international singing competitions including the Audience Prize at the Tenor Viñas Competition in Barcelona and First Prize in the Concours Lyrique International ad Alta Voce in Paris.  Having recently worked with Covent Garden’s Music Director Sir Antonio Pappano, Alcántara returns to London in July to sing the role of Cesare Angelotti in Puccini’s Tosca.

Eleonora Buratto has withdrawn from the production and Japanese soprano Eri Nakamura will now sing the role of Amelia. This will mark Nakamura’s Opera Rara debut, role debut and studio recording debut. Nakamura first shot to prominence as a Jette Parker Young Artist when she stepped in to replace Anna Netrebko as Giulietta in Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. She made her debut with Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé in 2022 as Cio-Cio-San in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly‘The singers were led by Eri Nakamura, the Japanese soprano who has made the role of Cio-Cio San her own in the world’s opera houses. She was wonderful, with glorious tone throughout her range (a low register of extraordinary strength combined with mellowness, and a brilliant top) and a vivid portrayal of young innocence developing into steely determination.’  (The Arts Desk).