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Cast change: Lianna Haroutounian to perform in first three performances of Les Vêpres siciliennes

Armenian soprano replaces Marina Poplavskaya due to illness.

By Chris Shipman (Content Producer (Social Media and News))

9 October 2013 at 2.02pm | 9 Comments

Marina Poplavskaya has fallen ill and had to withdraw from the role of Hélène for final rehearsals and the first three performances of The Royal Opera’s production of Les Vêpres siciliennes on 17, 21 and 24 October.

The role will now be sung by Armenian soprano Lianna Haroutounian, who made her debut with The Royal Opera in May 2013 singing the role of Elizabeth of Valois in Don Carlo. Her other recent roles have included Desdemona in Otello for Opéra-Bastille in Paris, Leonora in Il trovatore in Marseilles, Amelia in Simon Boccanegra in Lille, Mimì in La bohème for the Grand Théâtre in Tours and Amelia in Un ballo in maschera at the Stadttheater in Bern and the Grand Théâtre in Tours.  Her roles during the 2012–13 season included Elena in I vespri siciliani at the Megaron Concert Hall, Athens, and Hélène in the original French version of the same opera in Bilbao and Frankfurt; and Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly for Festival de Sanxay.

Marina hopes to be able to sing the remaining five performances on 29 October and on 1, 4, 7 and 11 November as scheduled. The rest of the cast remains the same.

By Chris Shipman (Content Producer (Social Media and News))

9 October 2013 at 2.02pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged cast change, Lianna Haroutounian

This article has 9 comments

  1. stephen ratcliffe responded on 9 October 2013 at 5:33pm Reply

    Lianna was wonderful in Don Carlos. I look forward to hearing her again

  2. Matteo responded on 9 October 2013 at 6:10pm Reply

    I was looking forward to listening Poplavskaya in a theatre, but now I'm even happier, I adored Haroutounian in Don Carlos!

  3. Thomas responded on 9 October 2013 at 6:25pm Reply

    Lianna Haroutounian was amazing as Elisabetta in Don Carlo ,here at the ROH , just a few months ago .
    I was lucky to hear Lianna performing Les Vêpres Siciliennes in french a few days ago , at the Frankfurt Opera : she was GORGEOUS !!
    I wish her ALL THE BEST : she deserve it !!!

  4. Malcolm responded on 10 October 2013 at 8:25pm Reply

    Leapt with joy when read Poplavskaya out of Vepres- only to come back down to earth when said only for first 3 !!
    She was NEARLY the reason we didn't book! But wanted see the piece
    In hope that indisposition extends as far as Nov 1 st!!!!

    • Dr Thomas Oxenham responded on 11 October 2013 at 4:03pm

      Regardless of your feelings about Poplavskaya (or any other artist for that matter), I feel it very inappropriate to publicly delight in an artist's illness and to wish that their indisposition continues for longer than necessary. Having learnt a long and demanding role, and rehearsed this new production, it must be a great disappointment for Marina to have to withdraw from the opening performances. I personally wish her a speedy recovery as have seen some wonderful performances from her and think she is a great dramatic artist...
      I have tickets to several performances during the run and am now looking forward to seeing both sopranos perform the role.

  5. I was one of the lucky ones to hear Harteros on the first night of Don Carlos, but am delighted to be hearing Haroutounian as she was, apparently, wonderful when taking over the role.
    I wish Poplavskaya a speedy recovery. I, too, have heard some fine performances from her. Malcolm's comments are insensitive, to say the least.

  6. Maria DiF responded on 15 October 2013 at 8:53pm Reply

    I find it a bit disturbing, though, that Poplavskaia "only" withdraws from final rehearsals and first three performances (hence missing the premiere and the press/critics), but will be back - guess when - on the two performances that will be filmed (for the DVD I suppose) as well as the Live HD broadcast... Anyhow, like David, looking forward to Haroutounian who I also missed in Don Carlo - because I booked the premiere to make sure I saw Harteros the serial canceller.

    • Placito Sabado responded on 16 October 2013 at 11:11am

      Nothing is more unfair to an artist than lies; maybe ROH should publish the truth instead of some excuse not exactly honoring Mme.Poplavskaya's (who's dramatic intensity matches her extraordinary vocal abilities as so many colleagues gladly witness) who has been singing indeed throughout the last three seasons an enormous variety of roles world-wide. Maybe the often stupid and uninformed audience should ask more questions and start considering artists as human beings first instead of icons they need to project onto!

  7. Tommy responded on 19 October 2013 at 9:14pm Reply

    Hi Folks ,
    you can go on You Tube to enjoy a fablious Lianna HAROUTOUNIAN performing an exciting BOLERO ,
    at the ABAO Opera of BILBAO in February 2013 :
    she's overwhelming !!! I wish she is in a good shape in London too , as she was in Bilbao when that Video was recorded .

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