A once and future leading man for Fort Worth Opera just boosted his Q rating by appearing on NBC’s America’s Got Talent. Sean Panikkar recently joined the all-tenor group Forte Opera Trio as a replacement for Hana Ryu, and when the group auditioned for the show, Panikkar was singled out for praise by that noted opera devotee Howard Stern, who said, “the new guy is the strongest singer.”

Fort Worth operagoers, of course, remember the Bloomsburg, Penn., native from the festival this past April, when he sang the role of Rodolfo in La Bohème to rave reviews. We’re due to see more of Panikkar, too, as he’s slated to return to Fort Worth Opera next year to take the lead role in Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers. The company will undoubtedly be happy to have their star tenor returning as a TV star.

In the meantime, here’s Forte’s audition tape for the show to tide you over until then.