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  • Cast change: Anna Netrebko to withdraw from Norma

Cast change: Anna Netrebko to withdraw from Norma

Netrebko's replacement to be announced soon.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

26 April 2016 at 12.13pm | 97 Comments

Russian soprano Anna Netrebko has withdrawn with regret from Bellini’s masterpiece, Norma, due to open The Royal Opera’s 2016/17 Season in September. Tickets for the production have not yet gone on sale.

In a message to her London fans Anna Netrebko has said: 'As I have begun to prepare the role, I have come to the unfortunate conclusion my voice has evolved in a different direction. This is something I could not have anticipated when Maestro Pappano and I planned this project four years ago, as we singers have to make decisions about roles and projects several years in advance. It pains me greatly to disappoint him, the Royal Opera House, and audiences in the UK. Knowing that tickets will soon go on sale and not wanting to mislead anyone, I feel I must now be honest with myself as an artist and make this very difficult decision.'

Kasper Holten, Director of Opera added, 'We are working hard on finding a new leading soprano to join Tony Pappano, Joseph Calleja, Sonia Ganassi and Brindley Sherratt in the rehearsal room later this summer. We are, of course, very frustrated that Anna has felt it necessary to cancel a major role debut with us for the second time. We have done everything we can to avoid this situation. Whilst we regret that her withdrawal has come at such a late stage, we do respect her decision and understand how difficult this is for her as well. We are sorry for the disappointment this may cause some of our audience.'

Antonio Pappano, Music Director added, 'I am of course saddened not to be doing this iconic opera with Anna. We had planned this project around her ambition to take it on some time ago but we all have to accept that things sometimes change. After all, it is a hugely challenging role. We have a superb creative team led by Àlex Ollé and a fantastic line up of world class singers and we will announce our new Norma shortly.

Anna and I have some other plans for the future at Covent Garden, in particular one of the major roles in which she has recently triumphed.'

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

26 April 2016 at 12.13pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged Anna Netrebko, cast change

This article has 97 comments

  1. B. Lewis responded on 26 April 2016 at 12:27pm Reply

    I thought,perhaps, she had heard of that ghastly production of Lucia and was scared off!

    • A. Weber responded on 26 April 2016 at 12:36pm

      The Lucia production is just terrific!!!

    • Roger Mullis responded on 26 April 2016 at 12:45pm

      A. Weber: absolutely agree!

    • Roger Mullis responded on 26 April 2016 at 12:50pm

      ...and I would add that, when Netrebko withdraws because of artistic differences she is honest enough to say so (as with the Bayerische Staatsoper Manon Lescaut in 2014).

    • O Bibb responded on 28 April 2016 at 7:55pm

      I agree with your comment regarding the Lucia production as do most people, as can be seen by ticket sales! I'm sure it hasn't helped inspire top class singers to perform at the ROH....

    • Alison Patterson responded on 29 April 2016 at 9:55am

      I thought Lucia was one of the best performances I have ever seen - didn't understand the poor reviews.

  2. Alen responded on 26 April 2016 at 12:32pm Reply

    Lucia was absolutely wonderful.

    Shame not to have Anna, but I'm still looking forward to Norma!

  3. Chris Caulfield responded on 26 April 2016 at 12:40pm Reply

    From the comments made at the season's announcement it kind of felt this was foreseen.

  4. Richard Jacques responded on 26 April 2016 at 12:45pm Reply

    Netrebko clearly has little regard for her London audience - but given the love we get and we show to DiDonato, Damrau, Fleming and Jaho, to name but a few, I think it is Netrebko's loss not ours...

    • vonessek responded on 26 April 2016 at 3:00pm

      It would be disrespectful if she did it on a whim. However, I think she realized that she could not sing it as well as she expected. It takes great courage to admit this and cancel an opening season at the Covent Garden! Also it's very respectful to the art of singing, if disappointing to the fans.

  5. julie responded on 26 April 2016 at 12:53pm Reply

    Hope to see Gheorghiu instead! She has the perfect voice for this role

    • Chris responded on 26 April 2016 at 2:34pm

      I give you my consent. The problem indeed, will Gheorghiu agree to take the role? She just cancelled the recital at Royal Festival Hall

    • Charles De Metsselaer responded on 27 April 2016 at 11:48am

      My thoughts for a replacement went also to the gorgious and talented Angela Gheorghiu.

    • ML responded on 27 April 2016 at 12:54pm

      Don't bother- Gheorghiu won't show up. At least Ms Netrebko had the courtesy to give colleagues and fans plenty of notice, even before audiences had paid for tickets.

  6. Jay responded on 26 April 2016 at 12:55pm Reply

    I think the ROH should see if Liudmyla Monastyrska is available. Such a compelling artistst who would fit this cast perfectly.

  7. DR Walsh responded on 26 April 2016 at 1:00pm Reply

    Great shame but not entirely unexpected - she has backed-out three of the last four times.

  8. Ian Greenwood responded on 26 April 2016 at 1:03pm Reply

    'Anna and I have some other plans for the future at Covent Garden, in particular one of the major roles in which she has recently triumphed'. Cancel her. She's shown herself time and time again to be unreliable in London.

  9. Sheila Epstein responded on 26 April 2016 at 1:06pm Reply

    Withdrawing before tickets go on sale does show regard for the audience. Withdrawing when you have concluded you can't do justice to a role also shows regard for the audience.

  10. M Morrison responded on 26 April 2016 at 1:08pm Reply

    As with Osipova - no surprise there, then!!! At least she's pulled out in plenty of time.

  11. Jonathan Sydenham responded on 26 April 2016 at 1:12pm Reply

    It'll be difficult to find a worthy replacement. I don't think any of the usual suspects are interesting enough to warrant such a prestigious new production (although I wouldn't mind hearing Radvanowski I must say, after Barcelona). Perhaps KH and AP could come up with a complete surprise, a totally off-the-wall choice for the part?

    • lynda walter responded on 29 April 2016 at 7:49am

      I saw Sondra Radvanovsky at The Met in October 2013 an she was fabulous.

  12. AC responded on 26 April 2016 at 1:14pm Reply

    Will the high prices, which were surely decided on in no small part to Netrebko's involvement, remain?

    • Brendan Quinn responded on 26 April 2016 at 4:25pm

      Indeed - a good question, because if they do there should be plenty of tickets available!

  13. Jennifer Coetzee responded on 26 April 2016 at 1:23pm Reply

    Thank goodness it is before the tickets opened! Have been listening to Norma lately and was waiting for the announcement.... Would have booked though, even if risk was high!

  14. Giampaolo responded on 26 April 2016 at 2:26pm Reply

    It is about time to have Devia back at the ROH. Her Norma is just the true essence of Belcanto.

  15. Brendan Quinn responded on 26 April 2016 at 2:44pm Reply

    Surprised in the first place that she had thought of doing this role. But maybe like others have said - if she was given a new production to star in that turned out to be such a disaster as the monstrosity that is posing as Lucia at the moment then perhaps she would not want her good name associated with such a pathetic production.

  16. John M. responded on 26 April 2016 at 2:46pm Reply

    I am not really so very surprised. I was already trying to second guess which nights she would cancel. I respect her honesty about her reasons for withdrawing and, anyway, we can't make a person sing if (s)he doesn't want to. I think it will be difficult to find a suitable replacement and I imagine that we will all have our preferences. As long as it is a soprano who has the full measure of the role, both musically and interpretively and not just one who is willing to give it a try.

    • Charles De Metsselaer responded on 27 April 2016 at 11:57am

      How about Angela Gheorghiu? I think she's even better than Netrebko. And she also is very attractive.

  17. Miriam responded on 26 April 2016 at 2:59pm Reply

    I was planning to go for the sake of the opera rather than because she was in it, so if we get a good replacement and lower prices I shall be happy.

  18. Richard responded on 26 April 2016 at 3:10pm Reply

    Given the parts that Ms Netrebko is singing now this really comes as no surprise. We can can only accept what she has said in her statement so why are some people on here so unforgiving? I agree with Shirley Epstein: she has done the right thing and withdrawn before tickets have gone on sale knowing the role is not now for her. In the email I received as a Friend revised ticket prices are promised when a replacement is announced.

  19. John responded on 26 April 2016 at 3:20pm Reply

    Could you please tell us what Netrebko's future plans at Covent Garden are? This Norma was announced quite a while ago, well before the usual season announcement if I remember correctly (in an interview that Pappano or Holten gave) so surely they can give audiences something to be excited about now that Netrebko has cancelled yet again? Perhaps Netrebko might also be encouraged to start looking at her professional commitments a little earlier in the day rather than after productions have already been announced?

  20. Nelson responded on 26 April 2016 at 3:45pm Reply

    Thank God. Maybe she is finally realizing that that Russian way of producing sound is making her sound as if she is 86. or at least that she is no good at coloratura. Her forays into coloratura running just made me cringe

    • Giampaolo responded on 26 April 2016 at 4:20pm

      That is the point Nelson: she has never been a Belcanto singer- the fact that she could sing all the notes, did not make her a Belcantista at all!

    • Alen responded on 29 April 2016 at 9:51am

      Not sure if her being Russian has anything to do with it. That's quite offensive actually - there's plenty of Russian artists who have done a marvellous job signing Norma.

  21. Daniela responded on 26 April 2016 at 4:09pm Reply

    The best Norma is definitely Mariella Devia. I have just seen her in Napoli and she was absolutely fantastic! ROH should do whatever it takes to get her.

    • Giampaolo responded on 26 April 2016 at 4:17pm

      Are you planning to go to Venice too, Daniela? I bought tickets for the first performance at La Fenice Theatre on Aug. 27th. Cannot wait!

    • Tano Rea responded on 27 April 2016 at 11:24am

      Hi, couldn't agree more...

  22. DavidC responded on 26 April 2016 at 4:56pm Reply

    Karita Mattila would be an interesting choice

    • Peter responded on 27 April 2016 at 5:49pm

      Mattila? That has to be joke. An astonishing artist certainly and one who seems to have gotten her groove back over the past few years. But she is 55, has never sung bel canto, no longer has a high C, and has never been ideal in the Italian repertoire in general. Her current rep is all 20th century music in German and Czech. Maybe is the ROH decided to revive Erwartung and Bluebeard she would be and ideal candidate, but even in her prime Norma would have been a mistake.

  23. Denis Ribeiro responded on 26 April 2016 at 5:58pm Reply

    What about Sondra Radvanovsky who was riveting in Roberto Devereux? She too has an 'unusual' voice but a dramatic personality and flair/commitment which would suit this role down to the ground.

  24. Gianluca responded on 26 April 2016 at 6:08pm Reply

    Mariella Devia the only Norma of today

  25. Calvin responded on 26 April 2016 at 6:13pm Reply

    She made a hash of Puritani. bolena was underwhelming. Macbeth was funny. Lets hope we get Sondra R!

  26. Stephen Cutler responded on 26 April 2016 at 7:32pm Reply

    Please, please, get Angela Meade.

  27. Nina responded on 26 April 2016 at 7:35pm Reply

    I see one very good choice for Norma - Marina Rebeka she did it beautifuly in Italy for the first time!

  28. To be very honest? This is no surprise for me. Her voice would not suit "Norma" anymore - "my voice has evolved in a different direction" is a very mild way to express what age, lack of discipline and eagerness to earn quick money can cause to a voice...

  29. Jorrod responded on 26 April 2016 at 9:13pm Reply

    Australian Jessica Pratt apparently is the new Norma.

  30. meunier responded on 26 April 2016 at 11:35pm Reply

    What about C. Bartoli who has had such a success with Norma recently. Also that wonderful singer - Marjorie Owens - was world class in this role at the ENO this past season ... and certainly deserved a better production. (Her husband recently triumphed at the ROH as Germont in Traviata too :)

  31. Mjm responded on 27 April 2016 at 12:15am Reply

    This is not her first cancellation she should be shown the door and not offered any contracts there are certainly better coloratura sopranos around, which is not really one. Now she has cancelled the met role as well

  32. John responded on 27 April 2016 at 1:13am Reply

    I can't be the only one who thinks that Norma still ought to be a suitable role for her - if you can sing Anna Bolena and Lady Macbeth then is Norma really so different? I wonder if she just hasn't allowed herself enough time to learn it properly - her first German role (in Lohengrin) is coming up now which will have taken a long time to master and then she has opera dates all through the summer until the scheduled rehearsal period for Norma. She has already admitted in the past that she learns things late in the day, hence the late cancellation for Faust. Perhaps she should have got started earlier on the part?

  33. Sheila Peters responded on 27 April 2016 at 9:34am Reply

    If only we could have Mariella Devia -- what a privilege that would be, to hear her sing Norma at Covent Garden.
    Her artistry in the role is unmatched, and
    she is still singing it well. Much better than to get a second rate replacement who is younger.

  34. Lung doc responded on 27 April 2016 at 9:44am Reply

    Friends: this is 2016 and we are talking Norma in 2017. Radvanovsky is " la assoluta".

  35. Hopefully The Met didn't outbid Anna for that. I heard the Bolshoi also wanted to have her as Norma. Such a loss for London any way...

  36. Graham responded on 27 April 2016 at 10:39am Reply

    Lung doc - we are talking September 2016

  37. Tano Rea responded on 27 April 2016 at 11:22am Reply

    Last Spring I saw Mariella Devia sing the role in Valencia (only the second time she had sung it). She in her 60's but was absolutely stunning.

  38. Jay responded on 27 April 2016 at 11:58am Reply

    Even at her age, I'd love to see Edita Gruberova who is still a fabulous Norma and has been away from ROH for many years.

  39. r.a. responded on 27 April 2016 at 12:14pm Reply

    Yes, I would love to see Cecilia Bartoli at the ROH again and in this role. Can the management tell us if there are any plans for her to return?

  40. Julianne responded on 27 April 2016 at 2:17pm Reply

    Angela Gheorghiu please!!!

  41. Romano Endrighi responded on 27 April 2016 at 7:40pm Reply

    I am not surprised that AN pulled out, Norma is not what I would like her to sing. My bet is that either A Pirozzi or A. Meade will sing Norma. And they would do justice to the role

  42. Stephen Ratcliffe responded on 27 April 2016 at 7:48pm Reply

    Jessica Pratt would be a fab choice. Much more appropriate casting than Netrebko.. Living in hope

  43. Dr Georgi Christov responded on 27 April 2016 at 11:17pm Reply

    The Bulgarian soprano Gabriella Georgieva was a remarkable and unforgettable Norma in the 25/03/2016 opening night of the new Norma production of the Sofia National Opera. Her outstanding voice is amazingly well fitting the finest musical details of this greatest of Bellini's operas to a state of perfection and delight. She won striking applauses of the fascinated audience. The London audience will be able to discover an amazing singer worth to be among the greatest divas of our time.

  44. Michael responded on 28 April 2016 at 1:18am Reply

    Well honestly I am not surprised.
    I am a huge fan of Anna Netrebko. They are many great sopranos out there but , in my view , nobody has the star quality, the "it" factor and that wonderful huge dark voice that is unique to Netrebko.
    I do beleive that she could have sung Norma extremely well but I think we are witnessing the perfect exemple of a soprano on top of the operatic world that is afraid of taking a huge risk. I respect her decision. It is a huge lost for the ROH . She has sung new roles suck as Leonora, Anna Bolena, Tatiana, Giovanna d'arco and Manon Lescault and unfortunately for the british public none of these were sung at the ROH.
    This was to be a major achivement for the ROH and I can understand how Mr.Holten and Maestro Pappano must be extremely disapointed. We the friends and the public of the ROH are also extremely disapointed.
    Let's also be very honest and admit that they are also no great Norma out there at the present time. They have been some very interesting attempt by many but no soprano has manage to become the " Norma" of her generation yet.
    Great singers are booked years in advance and it will be very difficult to find an established soprano that has 8 weeks free to tackle a new production and maybe a new role.
    I am a huge admirer of Mariella Devia, I think
    Radvanovsky is wonderful and I have great respect for Angela Gheorghiu but in my very very humble opinion I do think that Marina Rebeka has the potential of beeing the "Norma" of her generation.
    I wish Mr.Holten and maestro Pappano good luck in their search.
    We the public and the friends are looking forward to this New production of "Norma".

    • John responded on 28 April 2016 at 10:11am

      Agree with you 100%. I think Netrebko would probably still sing a very fine Norma, but there is huge pressure on her every debut and she had already publicly admitted the huge challenges of the role before she pulled out. That coupled with her busy schedule presumably meant that it just wasn't worth the stress.

      I also agree completely that it is a real shame that in London we have not heard Netrebko in any of her new and great triumphs - roles like Lady Macbeth, Leonora, Tatiana and Manon Lescaut that have been driving opera fans wild around the world. She is without a doubt the most in demand soprano in the world, yet Covent Garden hasn't really become an important part of her career, with numerous cancellations and her rare appearances in roles that are not especially challenging to cast eg Mimi. What a shame for everyone. At least we will still have a new Norma production with Calleja, Pappano, Gannasi etc, something that would never have happened without the promise of Netrebko's involvement. Perhaps she could at least give a couple of recitals in London to make up for the disappointment?

  45. Michael responded on 28 April 2016 at 4:13am Reply

    Just verified Marina Rebeka has nothing on her schedule between the end of july until her performance in Guillaume Tell on oct.18.

  46. Dr J Morgan responded on 28 April 2016 at 12:05pm Reply

    Perhaps the ghost Maria Callas worries Anna Netrebko to the extent she fears she cannot match classic performances by Callas,say La Scala 1954.I would like to see Elena Mosuc in the role of Norma.I would not come to see Angela Georghia who is in my opinion now past her prime as a soprano and has given some recent disappointiong performances.Perhaps there is some yet to be dsicovered young soprano available who can wow us all!

    • Chris responded on 29 April 2016 at 7:36am

      I think Angela Gheorghiu had spectacular reviews for her Tosca and a wonderful reception from the public.She is one of the best!

  47. Malcolm Fawcett responded on 28 April 2016 at 2:45pm Reply

    will now book it with MUCH more enthusiasm! Have LONG thought her highly overrated And seen her OFTEN!
    Can think of MANY better Normas around!
    Anne Marie Kremer for Opera North was TERRIFIC!!
    Angela Meade??
    Giannatasio!??

  48. Ekaterina responded on 28 April 2016 at 2:58pm Reply

    I am writing to add my support to the idea that Pappano and Holten should take the plane to Bucharest to persuade in person Ms. Angela Gheorghiu to take on the role of Norma. If she indeed wants comparisons between herself and Callas, La Traviata and Tosca are not enough. Norma added to her repertory would do the trick.

    In an interview to the Austrian journal Kurier from February 2014 she said she wanted to add Norma to her repertory. Her schedule is free for the ROH Norma opening night. All Pappano and Holten need to do is board that plane to Bucharest and ask.

    • John responded on 28 April 2016 at 4:13pm

      The chances of Gheorghiu singing Norma are basically non-existent. Unless she did it with a period orchestra a la Bartoli, the role requires a dramatic coloratura soprano, not a lyric, and she has shown very little affinity for the bel canto repertoire at any point in her career. Expressing such an interest in singing the role is just media puff to create a story and distract from the fact that she is no longer as important to the opera world as she formerly was.

  49. Loge responded on 28 April 2016 at 2:58pm Reply

    Did anybody seriously believe that Netrebko would not cancel? I honestly expected this decision and I am not surprised at all. As a possible alternative, of course it would be a dream to have Mariella Devia, but I suppose Mr Katona has got different tastes as we haven't seen her here for quite a few years. Another good option would be Maria Agresta.

  50. Loge responded on 28 April 2016 at 3:13pm Reply

    ....but there would be a couple of lingering nightmare options too which I would not exclude: Giannattasio and Bartoli. Well, if they cast any of them I will simply ignore this Norma.

  51. francois responded on 28 April 2016 at 4:40pm Reply

    Disappointing news, as I am sure that Miss Netrebko would have been a wonderful Norma. Contrarily to her 'official' statement, her voice has just evolved in the right direction to sing that role now and ROH was right to plan a production with her. Her cancellation has probably more to do with an over-saturated agenda and the difficulty to alternate the preparation of Elsa (for Dresden) and Norma during the same months...
    It is really a shame and one wonders whether Miss Netrebko is willingly avoiding London, she has been cancelling so many shows in the past (Traviata, Faust...) and has never sung here some of her major recent debuts (Macbeth, Trovatore, just to name a few). Her behavior is really disappointing and I am not sure that in the future I will still be motivated to see her.

    However this Norma still looks interesting, I am impatient to listent to Maestro Pappano's interpretation of this masterpiece (I hope a similar surprise as for his Santa Cecilia's Aida) and the remaining cast is of very good level. Regarding the role of Norma, there are unfortunately today only 2 singers able to replace Miss Netrebko with the same degree of electricity: Maria Agresta and Sondra Radvanovsky. Both have Norma in their repertoire and are exceptional artists. Both are well-known to ROH audience... I cross my fingers...

    • John responded on 29 April 2016 at 8:16am

      I think Lianna Harotounian is also a likely candidate to replace Netrebko - in fact she may already be the scheduled cover as she has no performances scheduled anywhere August-October. I personally don't think she has the necessary charisma or personality to be headlining this sort of event - she's a good singer but not memorable - but at this stage there won't be much to choose from. One wishes that the Royal Opera could come to some sort of arrangement with Netrebko, such as asking her to take over some performances in something else, but it doesn't seem likely unfortunately.

  52. Sam responded on 28 April 2016 at 11:09pm Reply

    I applaud Anna Netrebko's honesty, respect for the art form and acknowledgement that the role is no longer suitable for her, although I am not sure it ever was really. She is singing better than ever recently and I think is wise to avoid bel canto roles, and to play to her strengths. I hope ROH can find a strong replacement. As already said, Sondra Radvanovsky, Angela Meade or Mariella Devia would be great.

  53. John Yap responded on 29 April 2016 at 1:26pm Reply

    Having been fortunate and seen all of Netrebko's "new" roles (Lady M, Tatyana, Giovanna D'Arco, Leonora, Bolena) "live" by luck rather than by design...simply that I happened to be at the cities/places that she sang those roles (tickets purchased in advance of course)...I was really looking forward to seeing her Norma and Manon Lascaut (in Salzburg), now I have to content with seeing her Manon Lascaut in Salzburg only. She will not cancel Salzburg because she knows that it is a very important city for her and her career. Just as well I did not go up to her outside the Met the other night, after a performance of Roberto Devereux, telling her how much I was looking forward to her Norma. Seen Sondra Radvanovsky in Norma at The Met...whilst she was wonderful in Roberto Devereux, I thought that she sang Norma as if it were written by Verdi and she was channelling Leonora in Trovatore, which I have also seen and she was great in that role.

  54. David Criswick responded on 30 April 2016 at 11:24am Reply

    I think that Anna Netrebko's reason may well be genuine and linking it to the recent Lucia is rather nasty. I & my wife saw Lucia last Monday at the Vue cinema in Eastleigh and thought it was a very stunning, exciting and moving performance, as did others I have met since. And also the ROH audience on that night! It was very different from the Sutherland performance years ago, but I was surprised how well Donizetti's score fitted the drama. I could have watched it again! The moral is, don't take any notice of critics & first night audiences as many composers have experienced in the past!

  55. Philippe Willems responded on 30 April 2016 at 11:52pm Reply

    I am a big fan of Anna Netrebko.
    I am really disappointed because I am convinced she could have been an excellent Norma.
    Angela Mead has a superb voice. She was an excellent Norma at the Met in 2013.
    Interestingly, she is going to sing Norma in Madrid on Oct 21, 24, 28, 31, Nov 2.
    She seems to be free before, therefore, she could be our Covent Garden Norma from September 12th to October 4th.
    Anyway, I wish good luck in their search to Mr. Holten and Maestro Pappano who is one of the very best if not the best conductor of this century. I hope Anna Netrebko will be forgiven, and will sing again at the ROH soon.

  56. Chiaki Ohashi responded on 1 May 2016 at 9:58am Reply

    Kasper Holten proudly announces the new season in front of the act 2 stage set of Tannhauser, and emphasizes his achievement in arranging four blockbusters starting with Norma, also not forgetting to add (rather excitedly) the prospect of this shining new car eventually being covered with stains and mud. On the opening night of Tannhauser one of the four pillars gets destroyed and we see this magnificent collapsed proscenium arch on stage. I call this first class entertainment.

  57. Robin B. responded on 1 May 2016 at 11:11am Reply

    Suggesting Gheorghiu as Norma shows ZERO knowledge about the the vocal demands of the part, and about singing in general.
    I saw Angela Meade at the Met in 2013 and Radvanovsly in Barcelona last year. Meade was fabulous, and Radvanovky was excellent. So saying that "there is no real Norma today" is just plain silly.

    • John M. responded on 2 May 2016 at 10:06am

      I agree wholeheartedly. For me Ms Gheorghiu would be the absolute worst possible replacement. This role is beyond her in so many ways, vocally and interpretively plus I want to be able to hear Norma. I don't envy the ROH its task. It is usually very good at getting the singers right (less so it's choice of directors) but they have their work cut out here after all the Netrebko hype.

  58. Michael responded on 1 May 2016 at 11:57pm Reply

    I agree that although Angela Gheorghiu is a woulderful artist , vocally at this stage in her career Norma would absolutely not suit her.
    Angela Meade could be a good replacement vocally but in my opinion lacks the "it"factor to make her a real exciting " Norma".
    Take a few minutes to see the 3 excerpts of Marina Rebeka singing Norma in Trieste last february on YouTube and you will understand why this soprano will be the next great Norma.
    Marina Rebeka sang one of the most impressive Violetta last year that I have heard in the 30 some years I have been attending the ROH.
    She is free during the month of august and september.
    In my opinion at the present time she is the only one that could replace Anna Netrebko.
    Best of luck to Mr.Holten and maestro Pappano.

  59. Stevie responded on 2 May 2016 at 12:52am Reply

    This could be an opportunity to introduce a star of the future. There is talent out there, if someone can provide the confidence to introduce them to a starring role.

    • Francis responded on 2 May 2016 at 8:18pm

      I agree. I hope Maestro Pappano will be able to offer this Norma to a young singer. If she can succeed in this role, in such a high profile production, a new diva will have arrived...

  60. Emma responded on 2 May 2016 at 3:29pm Reply

    Please, please, please do whatever is necessary to secure the incomparable Mariella Devia. Far superior to the frequently underwhelming Ms Netrebko and what a lost opportunity for the Covent Garden audiences if not!

  61. Patience Humphries responded on 2 May 2016 at 10:23pm Reply

    When the new Norma is eventually announced we can only hope that the production she'll have to sing in won't be as farcical as Lucia

  62. Roland responded on 3 May 2016 at 12:59pm Reply

    Just listening to Mariella Devia singing Norma - her singing gives me the chills. Please do everything you can to get her to London. What a great chance it would be for the audience to see her in the role.

  63. John Lloyd responded on 4 May 2016 at 7:18am Reply

    All this talk about Netrebko's announcement showing respect is nonsense. The timing simply means that she opened the vocal score a few months before Norma premieres. That is disrespectful, casual and unreliable; a role such as this requires preparation over years, not months. The ROH should avoid her in future.

  64. I would love to see Anna Netrebko!! Very disappointed.

    • Michael responded on 6 May 2016 at 2:39am

      Yes very disapointing. We are missing the best years of this wonderful soprano.
      I know her schedule is extremely busy but it would be fantastic to have her performe a few Trovatore next year for the ROH as a good will gesture for her fan .

  65. The Bolshoi announced a little today... not Norma, but Manon Lescaut ... guess who is to sing ;) ....any way she is the crown jewel of the opera of nowadays...

  66. A responded on 10 May 2016 at 2:37am Reply

    Now Anna Netrebko will have more time to return to her beloved Russia to sing for Vladimir Putin and praise the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as she has been going on occasions during ths past two years.

  67. Alastair responded on 26 May 2016 at 8:31am Reply

    Saw Netrebko in Trovatore in Paris in February, and looking forward to seeing Bartoli in Norma in Edinburgh in August. So feel I'm quids in, regardless of this development!

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  1. ROYAL OPERA HOUSE STAGIONE 2016/2017 | Officinema feltre:  […] Norma – 26 September 2016 The Royal Opera Vincenzo Bellini Director: Àlex Ollé Conducted by Antonio Pappano and starring Joseph Calleja. Norma to be announced. […]

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