I have just been told by the management of the Tivoli Gardens Copenhagen that, two days after his seven-minute recital, Rolando Villazon agreed to renounce his fee. As a result, the Tivoli is now able to offer a refund to people who attended the unfortunate event.
I am very glad that Villazon has done the decent thing and hope that he was prompted more by personal conscience than by the torrent of adverse publicity. He is a nice man who is having a hard time. He deserves a break, in both senses of the term.
It is also to be hoped that lessons will be learned from this fiasco – that Villazon will take all the time he needs to recover vocal strength and repair his technique, and that other, less scrupulous singing stars will stop bilking the public with short-measure recitals.