Is Salvatore Licitra The Next Big Thing?

Last year Salvatore Licitra was hailed as the world’s next great tenor when he substituted for Pavarotti at the Metropolitan Opera. Was it all just hype? No, writes Charles Michener – he’s the real thing. “Listening to Mr. Licitra, I thought of something that one of Renée Fleming’s teachers, Arleen Auger, said to the soprano when she was just starting out: ‘Imagine the different registers of your voice as a series of hotel floors, each with its own character.’ Mr. Licitra navigated the ascent to each floor with seamless ease, finding new colors in each room and demonstrating the peculiarly Italian gift of expansiveness that gives a sense of vistas opening up.