Midway through last night’s (Wednesday’s) performance of Tosca at the Royal Opera House (ROH), the lead tenor role of Mario Cavaradossi was swapped mid-show with British tenor Freddie De Tommaso making his unexpected role debut at the house.
In the second act, De Tommaso took over, and in doing so became the first British tenor to sing the role of Cavaradossi in Tosca at Covent Garden in almost 60 years (since Charles Craig in 1963). De Tommaso is also the youngest tenor to ever take on the role at the ROH.
De Tommaso’s performance brought the house down and was described the The Times as a “had to be there” moment in a four-star review in which they declared his “knockout performance saves the day”.
Freddie De Tommaso follows in the footsteps of previous great tenors. Luciano Pavarotti made his ROH debut unexpectedly (as an understudy in La Boheme in 1963). 40 years ago, Placido Domingo gave his house debut as Cavaradossi, the same role as De Tommaso.
De Tommaso performs the role again at Covent Garden on the 11th (12.00pm) 14th and 17th December.
The British tenor’s debut album Passione was released on Decca Classics last year. It reached No.1 of the Official UK Classical Chart, making him the first solo tenor to debut at number one on the classical charts in 20 years.
About Freddie de Tommaso
A phenomenal voice and talent in the tradition of the great Italian tenor voices, 28 year old British-Italian Freddie De Tommaso shot to prominence when he won the First Prize, the Placido Domingo Tenor Prize and the Verdi Prize at the 2018 Viñas International Singing Competition in Barcelona. Since then, he has performed at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, Bayerische Staatsoper and Dutch National Opera and in September 2020 he opened the Wiener Staatsoper 20/21 season as Pinkerton in a new production of Madama Butterfly conducted by Philippe Jordan. Shortly after, De Tommaso was announced as the first tenor to be signed exclusively to Decca Classics since Jonas Kaufmann. In April 2021 his debut album Passione released by Decca debuted at number 1 in the classical charts and was met with huge critical and public acclaim.