Somewhere in my reading I came across a sentence that said Rolando Villazon would be expected to step into Placido Domingo's shoes. He may feel free to step into the favorite son Mexican tenor shoes, but vocally they are quite different. Placido is a dramatic tenor as evidenced by his successful portrayal of Otello throughout his operatic career. Rolando is a lyric tenor, closer to Jose Carreras whose shoes he may feel free to step into. Don't be fooled by its dark color into thinking that his voice is heavier than it really is. Or even more important, let's hope he isn't fooled by this.
It's a sad fact that I don't like his original Italian Opera arias cd as much as the French one. His "Una furtiva lagrima" is quite nice, but in general it seems he has the right amount of expressive freedom for French but not enough for Italian opera. This is a problem he can overcome.