BALTIMORE TENOR Chris Merritt sang Arturo in the Metropolitan Opera Company's "I Puritani" (The Puritans) by Vincenzo Bellini in a live radio broadcast Saturday heard by millions in this country and overseas. It was his second outing as the cavalier in four days after missing the opening production March 21 with a sinus infection.
Judging from the broadcast heard on WBJC-FM, Merritt's strong voice can still reach the heavens, but the sound Saturday was not always heavenly. His two high D notes wavered in the luscious third act duet "Vieni fra queste braccia" (Come to these arms) with soprano Edita Gruberova. At some points his voice could have used less volume and more phrasing.
Merritt had two solos, "A te o cara" (To you, beloved) in the first act, and "Son salvo" (I'm safe, I'm safe at last) in the third act. Merritt sang these in a deliberate style that could be pleasing, especially in parts of "I'm safe," but at other times was metallic and inelegant.