He has indeed come a long way. I first saw him in 1998 in a smallish role at the Wexford Festival. Two years later, he was the big star at Wexford (in Adam's Si jÚtais roi), but I found his quick vibrato rather bothersome. More recently, his Alfredo (Traviata) at Covent Garden wasn't too bad, but his acting wasn't all that convincing, IMO - basically, he's a bit of a stick. Still, kudos to him for being the Verdi tenor de nos jours.