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Cast change: Anna Netrebko withdraws from Faust

Replacement casting for the role of Marguerite will be announced in due course.

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

28 February 2014 at 10.02am | 88 Comments

Russian soprano Anna Netrebko has withdrawn from the role of Marguerite in Faust with The Royal Opera in April 2014, which was to be her debut in the role.

In a statement issued by her spokesperson, Anna Netrebko said:

‘I am so sorry to have to withdraw from the role of Marguerite in Faust. After much consideration and intensive preparation, I have come to the conclusion that the role is not right for me.  I had been very much looking forward to debuting this role at the Royal Opera House and following it with further performances in Vienna and Baden-Baden. Unfortunately, I must now withdraw from all these productions. I am very sad to be disappointing my fans in these cities and hope they will understand the difficult decision that I have had to make. However, I am very much looking forward to returning to The Royal Opera to perform with the Company again in 2015.’

Replacement casting for the role of Marguerite will be announced in due course.

The rest of the cast remains the same.

*Update*: Casting has now been announced

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

28 February 2014 at 10.02am

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged

This article has 88 comments

  1. Wow! A bit of a shocker. Perhaps someone could explain how it took her so long to realise this? It's not as if she was booked 5 minutes ago. Hope you can get a reliable and decent replacement especially given the highest level of ticket price and the fact that this is a sellout.

  2. I find this difficult to believe. Marguerite is a role she has sung extracts from in concert in recent years and most of the role is a good fit for her voice. What with Manon Lescaut and Macbeth both coming up, I suspect she's overcommitted herself and has decided this is the least interesting project of the three. What a shame!

  3. Dennis responded on 28 February 2014 at 10:49am Reply

    "I am very sad to be disappointing my fans," says Anna Netrebko. Once again the fans, myself included, who have already paid out a lot of money for tickets, transport and accommodation to see AN are disappointed. Too many big-name singers treat the public with contempt. If she had not been included initially in the cast list would there have been the huge demand for tickets?

  4. Peter Erdos responded on 28 February 2014 at 10:52am Reply

    Here we go again!
    I am glad I could not get a ticket at all for any of the performances after 2 hours from 10.00 on the first day of booking.
    Good luck for the touts who managed them!
    I appreciate the excuse put up by Netrebko, after all Marguarite is not quite Lady Macbeth for any soprano!

  5. Ian Greenwood responded on 28 February 2014 at 11:25am Reply

    'and hope they will understand the difficult decision that I have had to make'

    And I hope that Ms Netrebko understands the lengths to which people have gone to (and the prices they have paid) in order to hear her. Send her the way of Harteros, I say.

  6. DR RICHARD WALSH responded on 28 February 2014 at 11:30am Reply

    Netrebko withdraws again - what a surprise and what a feeble excuse.
    If you remember she withdrew two years ago [La Traviata] citing a foot problem - yet she was singing on stage at the Met [Anna Bolena] just three weeks later.
    I for one will not be shelling out vast amounts ever again and I think the ROH should review its premium pricing policy for the likes of this one and others of similar mode.

  7. John Lloyd responded on 28 February 2014 at 12:01pm Reply

    I'm amazed that Ms Netrebko accepted the role in the first place without being sure it was right for her and that, having done so, it took her until 5 weeks before the first performance to realise her mistake. What a waste of other people's time, energy and money, to put it mildly.

  8. Karen Jones responded on 28 February 2014 at 12:47pm Reply

    Can't tell you how gutted I am about this. I spent 4 times as much as i usually would on a ticket just to see Anna which makes the disappointment much worse.

  9. James responded on 28 February 2014 at 12:48pm Reply

    By 2015 it will have been 5 years since Netrebko has performed at the Royal Opera House. First she cancels Traviata on the spurious grounds of foot surgery (a problem that could be easily worked around on stage); and now she cancels Faust with barely a month's notice, evidently not having assessed the score's challenges at an earlier stage. She may be one of the opera world's big stars, but Netrebko clearly doesn't have much enthusiasm for performing in London, otherwise she would be honouring her contracts more consistently and signing up for more regular projects. Perhaps it's time the Royal Opera accepted that "she's just not that into you" and builds relationships with artists who are?

  10. The fourth time I have booked to see Anna and the third time she has withdrawn. If there had been an alternative cast this time I would have gone for it. Please don't attempt to use her in the future and in the meantime make sure her replacement is up to the mark or refund our tickets!

  11. Trevor Clifford responded on 28 February 2014 at 1:03pm Reply

    Very disappointing that Anna Netrebko is, yet again, letting her audience down by withdrawing from a major role at late notice. What exactly does 'the role is not right for me' mean? Surely a professional in any job takes everything into consideration before committing to an engagement, and to decide this late in the day to let down countless fans (who have paid considerable sums of money to hear her sing) could be seen as more UN-professional!

  12. Andrew Hogbin responded on 28 February 2014 at 1:25pm Reply

    I find this very difficult to understand. Yet another major soprano cancellation at this theatre! Surely, Ms Netrebko must have known that this role was "unsuitable" for her sooner than this. I for one would not have booked a ticket for the first night had she not been slated to sing. I am extremely disappointed and wonder when Covent Garden did know she would not appear. The number of cancellations and cast changes is becoming risible..

  13. Why on earth did she sign up to do the role in the first place ? She must have known what she was getting into ? She has a huge reputaion for letting her fans down though .... sad when she is so talented especiallly as i had bought tickets to see her !

  14. R. P. responded on 28 February 2014 at 2:16pm Reply

    This is the fourth time in the recent past that there are significant cast changes for performances in the ROH to which I have tickets.  First, Mrs Harteros withdraw from Don Carlo and was replaced by Mrs Haroutounian. Next Mr Kaufmann withdraw from Les Troyens and was replaced by Mr Hymel. Then it was Mrs Poplavskaya's turn to be replaced by Mrs Haroutounian in Les Vêpres Siciliennes. And now Mrs Netrebko withdraws from Faust because at a certain point she comes to the conclusion that the role is not for her. With all due respect towards these artists and those who are called to substitute them, and to whatever reason they have to make this decision, I feel like I have to protest. If at the first time I was disappointed and then upset, next I was suspicious and now, sorry to admit, I am getting angry. I consider that a prestigious opera house loses its credibility, when this happens that often. And there's not much "to be excited" about a production, as mentioned in the email that was forwarded to those who bought ticekts, when one of the reasons why the audience chose to attend it, is repeatedly disregarded. Being based in Italy, I gladly invest time and money in trips to London for cultural reasons. But now I am starting to consider if I shoudn't ''withdraw" from the audience myself in the next future and be replaced by someone else. Sorry, but I have to say it: Boo, Mrs Netrebko. Boo, ROH. 

  15. Matteo responded on 28 February 2014 at 2:51pm Reply

    Very sad about that

  16. Clive Couzens responded on 28 February 2014 at 5:35pm Reply

    I work as a consultant. Before I accept any work, I try to work out if I have the ability and the time to do the job. It's a shame that so many singers fail to do these tasks adequately.
    I don't imagine the ROH will adjust ticket prices, either, even though the prices for a production are clearly increased when big names are included in the cast.

    • Brian Slater responded on 28 February 2014 at 7:50pm

      Needless to say very dissappointed but so glad I decided not to go to Baden Baden as I did last year to see her in Don Giovanni. As to a price reduction, when I went to see her in Munich and she cancelled (again) we were given a 50% reduction of the ticket price on the night - no question. Perhaps the ROH should do likewise.

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 3 March 2014 at 2:31pm

      Dear Brian

      Thank you for your comment. While I understand your disappointment we do not offer refunds for reason of cast changes - our terms and conditions do make this clear:

      If you decide to come to the performance I hope that you do enjoy it, but if you wish to exchange your ticket we will waive our usual administration fee.

      Best wishes


  17. David Gifford responded on 28 February 2014 at 6:12pm Reply

    In view of the ticket prices, I do hope ROH manages to find a strong replacement at short notice, and I sincerely hope the role is not in Miss Poplavskaya's repertoire.

    • Peter Erdos responded on 2 March 2014 at 3:43pm

      if you are a true opera fan you should know that Poplavskaya sang a glorious Marguarite in the Met.New York with Jonas Kaufman.
      last year. As far as Netrebko is concerned, her behaviour is deplorable(the list of cancelled performances at Covent Garden is endless, Traviata, Don Giovanni, etc)

    • Sasha responded on 3 March 2014 at 5:31pm

      I could not agree more!!!

    • Sasha responded on 3 March 2014 at 5:33pm

      I could not agree more with the comment re: would they dare. Please, whoever it is, anyone BUT Poplavskaya!!!

  18. David responded on 28 February 2014 at 6:43pm Reply

    Really pretty obvious that this would happen, she has overcommitted and didn't want a repeat of the criticism that she had when she admitted that she really hadn't prepared for Puritani performances at the Met, where these days she has almost become a house soprano! However you really do have to ask why this happens at the ROH far more than any other major house? Why is it that the two most sought after sopranos in the world today have such an appalling record at the ROH? I hear the comments saying don't book them but the ROH has a duty to the public to bring the top stars to their productions. I await to see when and if either of them appear!

  19. Sebastian Petit responded on 28 February 2014 at 7:40pm Reply

    Clearly this is something that the ROH had little control of. Why are people blaming them?! And yes, it's disappointing that Anna has withdrawn but would people rather she sang badly in a role that doesn't suit her? I do feel sorry for the ROH having to find a replacement that will satisfy all the carpers and grumblers, though...

  20. greg responded on 28 February 2014 at 8:34pm Reply

    oh here we go again. Another overpaid star has decided to reduce her workload.I must try it out in my work and see what reaction i get!

  21. Eric Dowes-Keanne responded on 28 February 2014 at 9:28pm Reply

    Relax guys, if you booked the latter performances you are likely to get lucky because ROH is probably working to convince Gheorghiu to step in. And no one today comes even close to her when it comes to performing Marguerite.

    But I do feel sorry for those of you who booked the opening night and early performances - you are likely to get some unknown name to perform Marguerite because Gheorghiu has to perform in Paris at that time.

  22. Romano Endrighi responded on 28 February 2014 at 10:20pm Reply

    Well what a news this is. Ms Netrebko out of Faust. It is clear that she was the star of the revival and I am glad I resisted buying ticket to come to the ROH from Washington DC! Somehow, in my subconscious I knew she wouldn't perform. And she didn't think twice about cancelling her 2 Traviatas citing foot problems and simultaneously withdrawing the role of Violetta from her repertory, coincidence?? I only hope that the ROH, which I very much love and miss, will be up to the task of providing a suitable alternative soprano to join the solid, remaining (so far) cast.

  23. Frank responded on 28 February 2014 at 11:29pm Reply

    I'm also very shocked and disappointed !
    Thank God, I bought one of the cheapest tickets and didn't buy plane tickets, yet, so I will stay in Berlin and safe some money .
    And of course I'm very suspiscious about the explanation and in fact, I don't believe it.
    When Netrebko withdraw in Berlin from "Don Giovanni" simply to spend some more time with family, there were the rumors, that it was actually, because she didn't want to rehearse her part in a new production (the scheduled production from La Scala which she knew was replaced by the latest one from Salzburg..
    okay, somehow I try to understand that).

    To withdraw from "Faust" so late for the announced reasons is hard to believe...
    I mean, I'm sure, she didn't start to learn the part just right now or so, she was even on the cover of the ROH magazine and gave interviews how excited she is to sing Marguerite,,,,but maybe, she simply didn't want to perform anymore with her ex-husband Erwin Schrott, who is her scheduled partner in Vienna and Baden-Baden, and so she quit the performances at all !!! Of course, still no excuse !

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 3 March 2014 at 6:08pm

      Dear Frank

      Your disappointment is completely understandable and shared by all of us!

      Ms Netrebko did in fact appear with Mr Schrott just over a month ago at the Met in L'Elisir d'Amore, so it may be worth considering her given reason for withdrawing.

      Best wishes


  24. Isabella W responded on 1 March 2014 at 12:46am Reply

    While it is disappointing to hear of
    Anna Netrebkos ' s decision , the cast you have gathered for this production is so powerful with the excellent Joseph Calleja , Bryn Terfell and exquisite Simon Keenlyside. I am looking forward hugely to hearing them perform together.

  25. Michael responded on 1 March 2014 at 2:49am Reply

    Honestly I think the ROH here is to blamed for the lack of interesting propositions that they have had to offer to Mrs Netrebko in the last 5 years. Apart from a new production of Manon they have sat back and watched the Netrebko train go by. Anna Bolena, , Eugene Onegin , Il Trovatore , Manon Lescault , Lucia , Macbeth , and the only booking they could find for her was Traviata 2 years ago.I must agree with James and wonder why Mrs Netrebko is not that interested in singning at the ROH.Maybe it's time for the ROH to ask themselves the same question.

  26. Peter Griffiths responded on 1 March 2014 at 8:52am Reply

    Given the clear premium that is on the ticket prices for the performances of Faust given it was sold on Netrebko playing the lead (front cover of the magazine after all, previous issue!) is this not simply bait and switch? Sounds like she has form on this too......

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 3 March 2014 at 2:27pm

      Dear Peter

      Faust has a wonderful cast including Joseph Calleja, Bryn Terfel and Simon Keenlyside. Although Anna Netrebko has withdrawn the performance should still be a very enjoyable one. I can assure you that the change of cast has come as a surprise and disappointment to all of us.

      Best wishes


  27. W J Owen responded on 1 March 2014 at 10:27am Reply

    I booked to see Terfel. Netrebko was the icing on the cake for me. I hope the ROH sends these comments to Ms Netrebko so that she is more cautious before agreeing to sing a role in the future. From her perspective, a poor performance would be bad for her and the audience but she is senior enough to have the control to prevent this happening. At the beginning of an opera career I can see how a singer might get signed up to sing anything to pay the bills if one has a bad agent but Ms Netrebko should not be in that position. Perhaps now she is not in Faust she could sing her choice of music on the piazza before every performance of Faust as compensation for her devastated fans!

  28. Michael responded on 1 March 2014 at 10:29am Reply

    I assume that the fee that Anna Netrebko would have recieved would have been significantly more than her (short notice) replacement will get. What will happen to the difference? Will ticket holders get a partial refund? Or will the difference be gobbled up by the ROH? After all, hers is one of the names that meant the the production sold out so quickly.
    Financial recompense will not fully compensate for her withdrawal - but it would be a significant gesture on the part of ROH. As previous comments have pointed out, a significant portion of money hasbeen spent on arranging travel and hotels.

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 3 March 2014 at 2:24pm

      Dear Michael

      While we understand that it is very disappointing for audiences that Anna Netrebko has withdrawn from the cast we do not offer refunds under such circumstances. The performance will go ahead with wonderful singers and musicians and we very much hope that you enjoy it. Should you wish to contact our Box Office to exchange your ticket we will waive the usual fee.

      Best wishes


  29. Carlo responded on 1 March 2014 at 10:47am Reply

    I have paid a lot of money for the ticket on 17.04.14 (+ flight from Gran Canaria + hotel..) to experience Ms Netrebko.
    Her cancellation on such a short notice and on the grounds given shows little respect for her fans. Even if she is good, she is not the only good soprano around. So in the future I will boycott performances where she is scheduled.
    In the meantime I hope the ROH will find a decent substitute or partly refund the ticket (..otherwise my boycot will extend to future performances of the ROH too).

  30. Philip responded on 1 March 2014 at 12:35pm Reply

    Maybe the role isn't correct, maybe conductors, artists or stage directors can't cooperate. However, the long term casting and planning of opera houses - I take it somebody get paid to do this planning - must be taken much more seriously. At the very least, casting must be professionally reviewed prior to ticket sales opening. This time I was so close to buy ticket, air fare and hotel, but my stomach told me against it. I am sorry that my stomach proved right - and then again I am not. Someone must start taking responsibilty for programming.

  31. Penny Proudlock responded on 1 March 2014 at 12:50pm Reply

    I can understand evreyone's reactions to AN's cancelling at such short notice; I too have an 'expensive' amphitheatre ticket but want to hear Calleja and Terfel in these roles, both fabulous singers! I was at the Friends rehearsal for 'La Fille' yesterday; Patrizia Ciofi had to pull out after the interval citing a chect infection; she was brilliantly replaced by Anna De??, who was greeted with cheers at the curtain call! Sadly, the lady with the mike who announced all this spoke so quickly in accented English, I could't hear this lady's name...anyone any ideas please? Is she Ciofi's understudy?

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 2 March 2014 at 2:54pm

      Dear Penny

      Glad to hear that you enjoyed the Fille du regiment General Rehearsal. I will enquire as to who stepped in, I was not at the general myself.

      Best wishes


    • Miriam responded on 2 March 2014 at 6:45pm

      A friend of mine was there, it was Anna Devin, a former member of the JPYA programme.

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 3 March 2014 at 2:40pm

      Dear Penny

      The performer was Anna Devin, who will be appearing soon in Luke Bedford's new opera Through His Teeth:

      Best wishes


  32. Andrew responded on 1 March 2014 at 1:43pm Reply

    Yes it is disappointing that Netrebko has cancelled, but there is little point in blaming the ROH, what can they do if a singer withdrawers, they cant force them to sing. Singers cancelling is nothing new. I am in my late 60s and have been going to the opera since I was 15.I have had many cancellations over the years. Its even more upsetting when you travel to hear a favourite singer. I booked to hear Nilsson Brunnhilde in Stockholm, she cancelled, Caballe at La Scala,she cancelled, Corelli twice as Andrea Chenier and Don Jose, he cancelled both times.Jon Vickers Tristan,cancelled, Pavarotti, Un Ballo, cancelled. and many more that I wont bore with. Yes its annoying especially when you have spent money on tickets you can ill afford. It is however part of going to see live performances these things happen and trying to blame opera administrators and their Opera Houses is a useless exercise. I'm sure it was the last thing Peter Katona the casting director at the ROH wanted to hear when he arrived in his office, was that Netrebko had cancelled.

  33. CHIAKI OHASHI responded on 1 March 2014 at 2:06pm Reply

    No harm done to the Royal Opera House. This only means that someone who is fit to play Marguerite is getting the chance of being applauded. In the future whenever I plan to book for a performance at the Royal Opera or any other opera houses with Netrobko listed in the cast in the future, I will do it on the premise that someone much better will be standing for that role.

  34. Liz responded on 1 March 2014 at 2:27pm Reply

    Out of the two dozen productions that ROH put on, 4 out of, what, 200+ singers booked cancel, and you think that's a bad statistic? If the role isn't right for a singer then all they can do is apologise and withdraw. It must be a ghastly decision to have to make and, with a busy schedule like Netrebko has, there can't be a great deal of time to fully prepare each role before deciding whether or not it's right. Indeed, even if she HAD prepared the role before accepting it, people's voices change and what suits you now may not suit you later. Yes, it's disappointing, but singers are NOT the public's property - they have all the stresses and strains of life to deal with that we ordinary people have. More, in fact, because every professional decision they make is put under scrutiny by an under-qualified and quick-to-judge public. In fact, it's probably BECAUSE of this kind of uncensored attention that singers feel they need to withdraw, in case of a public bashing afterwards. Which would you prefer?

  35. bill worley responded on 1 March 2014 at 3:06pm Reply

    Come on folks. I think you are all being very unfair. Miss Nebtreko has realised that the role is not for her. Isn't it better to admit this even at a late stage rather than give an inadequate performance and the disappoint her fans even more.

    We do not know when the contract was signed - knowing how far opera houses plan in advance it could have been several years ago.

    I did not actually book tickets for this - not being a fan of the opera or that production. Also one principle member of the cast I can not stand.
    I a sure the replacement will be worth it.

  36. Brigstocke HUGH responded on 1 March 2014 at 3:32pm Reply

    What is the betting on Poplavskaya as the replacement? Would they dare?

  37. helmi bergmann responded on 1 March 2014 at 5:39pm Reply

    I am also very disappointed, I am traveling to London and Baden-Baden for huge sums of money.

  38. George Ryder responded on 1 March 2014 at 6:08pm Reply

    How can the ROH continue with this high price charging for top names only have them withdraw for such odd reason ie Mrs AN, she should pay a fine for not keeping to her contract, how does the MET always seem to have very few cast changes yet the ROH seems like all stations change. I am beginning to wonder whether it is worth ever booking so far in advance as a friend of the Opera House as it just seems better to take your chance when booking opens. Sadly the ROH is going to loose out, with such great MET broadcast on radio and at the cinema can only deter people away. Management should consider how they get contracts signed.

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 2 March 2014 at 3:08pm

      Dear George

      I've done a quick comparison of cast changes for the 2013/14 season between the Royal Opera and the Met, and from August 2013 the two opera houses have each had 13 cast changes:

      We are aware of how disappointing cast changes are for our audiences, but alterations sometimes have to be made.

      Best wishes


    • George responded on 5 March 2014 at 4:19pm

      Thanks Ellen for your reply, yes there are replacements at the Met but not as many major singers as with the ROH, it is difficult to replace, I am going to remain with my performance for April 11th, purely due to the fact that I had such an enjoyable night on Monday 3rd of March with Le Fille du Regiment that I want to continue to enjoy my visits to the opera house.

  39. Riet Knops responded on 1 March 2014 at 6:40pm Reply

    We have booked three times to see Mrs. Netrebko, once in Paris, once in Vienna and the last time in 2012 in Munnich. Three times she withdraw. We paid considerable amounts to see her. Now we are glad that we did not book to see her in London because the prices for a production with mrs. Netrebko are increased. It is a shame for all her fans.

  40. Lee responded on 2 March 2014 at 12:10am Reply

    I'd like to say, in light of all the hysterical disgust I've read since this announcement was made, that, while I sympathise with those who have spent a lot of money to see a favourite artist, I myself am quite indifferent about this news. Calleja, Terfel and Keenlyside are plenty for me (and if the rumours about Yoncheva replacing Netrebko are correct, then that's just grand).

  41. Patrice Berthoud responded on 2 March 2014 at 12:27pm Reply

    I leave in Switzerland and to see great performances with great singers I became Friend from ROH to have a chance to buy good tickets. If I accept to pay a high price for a ticket + a plane ticket and a hotel room, it's to be sure that I can see what I have paid for. I accept when somebody is sick or pregnant like Mrs Garanca for Carmen, but I don't accept this kind of excuse!

  42. Riet Knops responded on 2 March 2014 at 1:41pm Reply

    I responded on 1 March 2014 et 6:40pm. To make the moderation easy for you: 5 June 2008 Paris I Capuleti e i Montecchi; 19 April 2010 Vienna I Puritani and 26 May 2012 I Munich Capuleti e i Montecchi.

  43. David Gifford responded on 2 March 2014 at 3:08pm Reply

    This item, from an opera blog website, and dated 04/2013, is intriguing:

    'Tuesday, April 16, 2013
    Faust Met Opera 2014-2015 Performances cancelled.
    The planned revival of Faust at the Met in the fall of 2014 has been canceled because, according to La Cieca/Parterre sources, Netrebko did not feel like singing the production currently at the Met.'

    Apparently the Met production is widely disliked by both audiences and critics, so perhaps one can feel some sympathy for Nerbreko's stance in this case (though why sign up for it in the first case?).

    It is beyond belief, however, that a highly experienced singer would wait until just over a month before the ROH production to decide that the role is not right for her. It is also an affront to her many fans.

  44. Paul Pulle responded on 3 March 2014 at 6:42am Reply

    Some form of compensation should be given to the sell out audiences if AG cannot replace AN. !!!

  45. Placido Carrerotti responded on 3 March 2014 at 9:55am Reply

    I hope it wont' be Ailyn Perez : there's an orrendous rumor about that...

  46. stephen ratcliffe responded on 3 March 2014 at 10:25am Reply

    I must admit I was surprised Ms Netrebko was singing this role given her move into much heavier (and in my view more suitable) repertoire. I booked principally for Calleja and Terfel and am happy to pay the high proce to see them. I do hope that the replacement is not Popsy though!

  47. yvette responded on 3 March 2014 at 11:00am Reply

    Dear opera goers,
    I recently came to the ROH to enjoy the fabulous cast of Simon Boccanegra.I really loved the atmosphere and your excellent conductor Sir Antonio Pappano! This time I did not succeed to book for Faust ( it was too expensive and the affordable seats had gone ) but I managed to get the opening night at Baden-Baden on June the 6th for 100€ parterre ticket. I am also very surprised by the Prima Donna arguments , considering this opus uninteresting in the end (if her voice sang Adina not long ago., Marguerite is not too different).. it is a pity for Gounod!s opera to get such diisdain from one of the top lyric soprano.The ROH offers better casts than some Europeans operahouses ! here we are facing perhaps a Diva's capriccio!!!

  48. Sheila Peters responded on 3 March 2014 at 3:16pm Reply

    It is so late to get a replacement! Whoever would be available at this point? I think her decision is inexcusable, and her improbable reason an insult to the audience,

    As to the responses made by Covent Garden to some of the other writers:
    It is not just a matter of finding a replacement whom the audience will enjoy, but someone who justifies the price of the ticket. Perhaps many in the audience do not have to care about that, but some of us work hard to earn the price of our opera tickets.

  49. Josefa responded on 3 March 2014 at 4:42pm Reply

    Dear forists,
    please take into account that the cancelations in Vienna,Baden-Baden and Hamburg may be largely influenced by the fact that the role of Mephistopheles in these events will be performed by her Ex (Erwin Schrott).Consequently London has to be cancelled as well to disclose the probable reason.

  50. David responded on 3 March 2014 at 8:51pm Reply

    Dear Ellen
    Thankyou for your comments - I was only really referring to Anna Netrebko and Anja Harteros both of whom have a somewhat poor attendance record!

  51. Michael responded on 3 March 2014 at 9:50pm Reply

    I became a Friend of Covent Garden to have a chance to get tickets to see this particular performance of Anna Netrebko. I paid a fortune for the tickets. As I am living abroad I had to book flights and a hotel, as well. Furthermore it is a birthday present for my mother. I am so disappointed. It is not due to an illness - the role is not for her. She knows that role and recorded parts of it already. How is that possible to discover at this stage. A diva should consider that she is nothing without her audience. It is not good enough!

  52. Oren responded on 3 March 2014 at 10:15pm Reply

    You cannot imagine how disappointed I am!
    I live far away from England (6 hours flight), and it was my dream to see her.
    I bought an expansive ticket, a special plane ticket and made special hotel reservation Just to see Anna Netrebko for the first time in my life! It was my dream.
    The news was so depressing!
    I hope you do not think Marina Poplavskaya is "a good replacement".
    The only 2 appropriate replacements I think of are Gheorghiu or the rising Peretyatko.
    Maybe Gheorghiu will do it?
    Peretyatko is singing Puritani at the Met.
    May be Netrebko and Peretyatko will exchange parts? Netrebko will sing puritan at the met and peretyatko will sing Marguerite?
    Am I naïve?
    I am so disappointed And frustrated…

  53. Isabella W responded on 3 March 2014 at 11:01pm Reply

    Personally I would be delighted if Marina Poplavskaya replaced Netrebko. She was absolutely stunning at the ROH in Simon Boccanegra with Domingo and Calleja . She and Calleja are exquisite vocally together.

  54. James responded on 3 March 2014 at 11:40pm Reply

    Anna Netrebko sang Adina only two months ago - a much lighter role than Marguerite and with more coloratura. So why can't she sing this? Please ROH answer my question - dont just post and ignore! What appallingly unprofessional behaviour to cancel so late. Six months - okay. But 5 weeks? How lazy not to have assessed the challenges sooner.

  55. Michael responded on 4 March 2014 at 3:13am Reply

    Well there is never a dull moment around the ROH. I lost Netrebko in Faust but gained Terfel in Tosca all in one week...At least now the ROH have a replacement if ever Miss Opolais is sick for Manon Lescault. I think Mrs Netrebko schedule for the month of June is not very busy...

  56. gal responded on 4 March 2014 at 8:55am Reply

    I can understand Netrebko's decision, but I regret the late annoucement. For the replacement, let's hope it won't be Perez nor Poplavskaya. It would be a real shame !

  57. Ben S. responded on 4 March 2014 at 10:06am Reply

    I am also very dissapointed and angry about this cancellation. This was the first and last try to see and hear her perform live.
    I don't have very expensive tickets but with a flight from Amsterdam and a hotel it will be an expensive trip to London. I am happy that I booked a visit to La Traviata in the same trip. Hope that Diana Damrau does appear (as she didn't when I went to Berlin for Lucia di Lammermoor). Still looking forward to Faust with great singers as Calleja and Terfel!

  58. Philip responded on 4 March 2014 at 10:33am Reply

    In brief, whether Ms. Netrebko does not want to sing in French or does not approve of the subsequent castings of Faust, decisions of this kind must be made prior to ticket sales opening. Artists' managements and opera houses management must rise to take responsibility. And let us hope that this production with its team of splendid leading voices will be successful after all.

  59. Jenna responded on 4 March 2014 at 3:38pm Reply

    As mentioned by some other, I booked, because I wanted to see Bryn Terfel and Joseph Calleja and also for me, the fact that Netrebko was meant to sing was the icing on the cake, but decisive.I think it is still a stellar cast and I hope ROH finds a good replacement.

    However, I have to admit that I find the explanation given by Ms. Netrebko rather surprising. Does she really realise that late that this role is not suitable for her? Would it not have been more appropriate to think about suitability before she acutally signs contracts to sing this operas in three prestigious venues.

    Finally, one remark about another replacement just one day earlier: I am delighted that Bryn Terfel "replaces" Sebastian Catana in Tosca. I immediately booked a ticket for that. Great that ROH could secure this "replacement".

  60. James responded on 4 March 2014 at 5:20pm Reply

    I understand that contracts are signed many years in advance and that the development of a voice can not be entirely predicted. That said, I think Philip is entirely correct that a decision to withdraw should have been made before ticket sales began. It is extremely unprofessional to withdraw so late in the day, particularly given Netrebko's cancellation record in London, and it begs the question whether she had allowed herself insufficient time to learn this difficult role. Boo Netrebko!

  61. Dennis responded on 4 March 2014 at 5:28pm Reply

    It is almost one year since Tony Pappano spoke out about the increasing number of young singers who cancel nowadays. He was criticised for saying this....but he was/is correct! If we must apportion blame, let us direct it at those who cancel, not at the ROH.

  62. Fred responded on 4 March 2014 at 7:59pm Reply

    I believe , like James and Philip that a decision to withdraw should have been made before ticket sales began... Nobody who is a connaisseur in opera ( and I do hope your Music Director, your Director of Opera and your Director of Casting are..) can believe one word of Mrs Netrebko 's letter. she acts as a beginner , but I guess her fees are much higher than a beginner's ones ...Marguerite is a wellknown role , not a discovery in the world of opera....Of course you have sold all your tickets at a high level price and you've got money ... so nothing to do... , or maybe to be less confident in the ROH seasons...
    From a disappointed French ROH friend

  63. David responded on 5 March 2014 at 9:23am Reply

    I am travelling from Australia and was looking forward to hearing Netrebko for the first time, however these things happen. I well remember my first visit to the ROH in the 1970s when Jose Carreras cancelled and was replaced by an aging Luiga Alva in L'elisir I think , but what a treat it was to hear him. Again, in 1980 at the Met, Jess Thomas was a late replacement in Parsifal. I cannot remember who he replaced but he was magnificent. These things can have a silver lining; let's hope.

  64. Adelina responded on 5 March 2014 at 11:57am Reply

    How much longer must we wait to hear who the replacement is going to be? It has been 5 days now, and rumours are abounding re Yoncheva/Perez/Gheorghiu or some combination thereof. We deserve certainty, as some of us may wish to make alternative plans if the ROH's idea of a satisfactory replacement is not in accordance with our own. I don't want to find out on April 3rd that it's going to be Ermonela Jaho yet again.

  65. Alice Poulsen responded on 5 March 2014 at 2:34pm Reply

    I, for one, am perfectly happy now and not the least bit upset about this cast change.

    Thanks ROH - good job!!

  66. Robin Smith responded on 5 March 2014 at 7:16pm Reply

    I do wish people wouldn't make derogatory comments about other sopranos who as far as we know have nothing to do with this issue. It seems most unfair to me.

    I look forward to hearing Ms Netrebko's replacements and wish them all the best. I am sure they will get every support from what is still a glorious cast.

  67. Alex Kennedy responded on 8 March 2014 at 1:28am Reply

    I must correct my previous comment.
    The number of seats now available in
    a block of the stalls is 55 ,not 95.
    I apologise for the mistyping ,but the
    query remains the same.
    Alex Kennedy

  68. Alex Kennedy responded on 8 March 2014 at 8:26am Reply

    My original comments regarding the
    sudden appearance of a block booking
    of 55 seats in the stalls for the performance dated 22nd April seems to have been lost in the ether. My query was,
    are these agency seats being returned,
    sponsors seats or are they some form of
    ticket tout booking ? I also said that the
    Opera House were coping as well as they could after Miss Netrebko's late decision
    that she was not able to perform this role.
    The sudden appearance of so many seats
    for a performance that was listed assold out is

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 12 March 2014 at 5:55pm

      Dear Alex

      We are committed to making as many tickets available to our members and the general public as early as possible. Last year we welcomed more than 675,000 audience members through our doors, achieving 95% occupancy across the Season.

      While a release of this many tickets together is very unusual, additional seats do sometimes become available, for example through customer returns or because more becomes known about the configuration of the auditorium during the rehearsal period. We do all we can to avoiding unauthorised ticket sales. You can read more about this here:

      If you wish to book for a performance and find it to be sold out, it is always worth checking our website nearer the time. You can also find details of other opportunities to see the production, including cinema relays, on the production pages.

      Best wishes


  69. Nigel Ansley-Young responded on 13 March 2014 at 12:36pm Reply

    So, Miss Unreliable strikes again. It's not the first time I've bought tickets to see her sing and this has happened. I shan't be bothering in future.

  70. Alex Kennedy responded on 18 March 2014 at 7:57am Reply

    Dear Ellen,
    Thank you for your reply regarding my
    enquiry abut the sudden appearance
    of a block of seats for sale in the stalls
    for the 22nd April. Your reply does not
    really answer my query. I also note that's on
    the 17th April blocks of some 50 seats each in the grand tier and the stalls suddenly appeared. These prime seats would not have been affected by any reconfiguration of the auditorium. Where did they come from ? I find it very mysterious

  71. Y L responded on 5 April 2014 at 10:17am Reply

    Just came back from opening night (Friday 4th).
    Wonderful performance. Mr Keenlyside gave an amazing performance as Valentin. All the four stars were great. Perhaps could have Christina Rice as Siebel to make the evening perfect. All in all, we could do without Anna Netbreko. Great opening night !

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