Marcello Giordani has withdrawn from the Met’s production of Berlioz’s Les Troyens in the middle of the run, retiring the role from his repertory. Giordani has received plenty of brickbats from New York’s critics, describing his ‘barnstorming style’ in the duet with Didon, being ‘vocally wobbly’ and ‘tentative and badly strained’.
Harteros withdraws from ROH Don Carlo
We hear unconfirmed reports that Anja Harteros has withdrawn from performances as Elisabetta in the Royal Opera’s revival of Don Carlos next season. This news will be particularly sad for those who heard her wonderful Desdemona in Otello earlier this month. No news has been officially released from the ROH yet, nor news on any replacement.
* Update: 26th February - the Royal Opera has confirmed Anja Harteros has withdrawn from performances on 15th, 18th, 21st and 25th May 2013, with Armenian soprano Lianna Haroutounian making her role debut.
After missing several recent engagements (and having to lip-synch at the Champions League final in Munich last week), Jonas Kaufmann has withdrawn from the eagerly anticipated new Royal Opera production of Les Troyens in June. Bryan Hymel, who had already joined rehearsals at Covent Garden, has been announced as a replacement Enée.
It seems the Royal Opera House is having little luck with the casting of Mimì in La bohème. Days after lining up Irish soprano Celine Byrne to replace Anja Harteros in the first cast of this summer’s revival, she has had to withdraw for health reasons.
She is replaced by Carmen Giannattasio, an Italian soprano familiar to London audiences through her involvement in Opera Rara projects. Unbelievably, this will mark her Royal Opera debut. She has previously sung Mimì in Berlin andToulouse.
Giannattasio’s recent appearances include Violetta in La traviata in Berlin, Leonora in Il trovatore forThéâtre du Capitole, Toulouse, Salomé (Massenet’s Hérodiade) for De Vlaamse Opera, and Vitellia (La clemenza di Tito) in Aix-en-Provence.
Her future roles include the role of Elizabeth of Valois in Don Carlos in Berlin as well as her debut at the Met as Leonora (Il trovatore).
Russian soprano Ekaterina Siurina has withdrawn from two performances ofRigoletto at Covent Garden on the 7th and 21st April due to personal reasons. Gilda will be sung at these performances by Lucy Crowe, marking her debut in the role.
The British soprano made her debut with The Royal Opera as Belinda in Dido and Aeneas in March 2009 and returned to sing the role of Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier. Other appearances include the aforementioned role of Sophie for Bavarian State Opera and in Berlin; Adina (The Elixir of Love), Poppea (Agrippina) and Drusilla (L’incoronazione di Poppea) for ENO and Mystery/Juno (The Fairy Queen) for Glyndebourne, in Paris and New York. Future plans include the title role in The Cunning Little Vixen for Glyndebourne and Servilia (La clemenza di Tito) at the Metropolitan Opera, New York.
Ekaterina Siurina will sing the role of Gilda as scheduled on 30 March, 2, 4, 11, 17 April at 7.30pm and 14 April at 12.30pm.
Simon Keenlyside has withdrawn from the role of Count Almaviva in the Royal Opera’s forthcoming revival of Le nozze di Figaro on doctor’s orders. He is replaced by American baritone Lucas Meachem, who made his Royal Opera debut as Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas in 2009. He has previously sung the role of Count Almaviva with San Francisco Opera and Bavarian State Opera in Munich. His other appearances have included the title role inDon Giovanni (Glyndebourne Festival Opera, in Santa Fe, New Orleans and San Francisco), the title role in Billy Budd(Paris Opéra), Oreste in Iphigénie en Tauride (Teatro Real, Madrid, and Lyric Opera of Chicago) and Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette (Metropolitan Opera, New York).
In a refreshingly honest email to ticket-holders, new ROH boss Kasper Holten admitted that:
‘However, I am aware that you might have received a number of these emails from me lately about cast changes for other productions and may be again disappointed. We do all we can to avoid changes to the announced cast, but illness is of course out of our control, and we have been very unlucky this winter Season. Please let me assure you that we do not take these matters lightly.’
The Royal Opera is offering ticket-holders the chance to exchange Figaro tickets for any other ROH production currently on sale within the same price band or higher, subject to availability. For more information or to exchange, please contact the Box Office on +44 (0)20 7304 4000.
Holten concludes: ‘I do hope to see you at Le nozze di Figaro and that you will not get more emails from me any time soon.’
Anna Netrebko's two scheduled performances in The Royal Opera's January leg of its La Traviata marathon have been cancelled due to surgery to alleviate pain in her foot. The news has yet to be confirmed by the Royal Opera House, but have been posted on Netrebko's facebook page. She has also cancelled a number of January concerts in Germany with Erwin Schrott (3rd, 6th, 9th). The cancellation of her Traviata dates will be particularly keenly felt given that she missed three of her 2008 performances as Violetta due to a bronchial condition. Ironically, Ermonela Jaho, who stepped in to save the show in 2008, is the Violetta for most of the run and is likely to plug the dates for the ROH on the 17th and 20th. They were Netrebko's only scheduled Covent Garden performances this season.
The German concert dates have been rescheduled.