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  • Cast change: Verdi's Otello on 21, 24, 28 June and 2, 6, 10 July 2017

Cast change: Verdi's Otello on 21, 24, 28 June and 2, 6, 10 July 2017

The role of Iago will be sung by Marco Vratogna.

By Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media))

2 June 2017 at 4.17pm | 16 Comments

It is with deep regret that French baritone Ludovic Tézier will no longer be making his role debut as Iago in Otello on 21, 24 and 28 June, and on 2, 6 and 10 July. The role of Iago will be sung by Marco Vratogna.

Ludovic Tézier said: ‘Due to health reasons, I was unfortunately unable to attend the first week of rehearsals for The Royal Opera’s new production of Otello. When it became apparent that I would be further delayed by two days for a doctor’s appointment, The Royal Opera made the difficult decision to re-cast the pivotal role of Iago. Obviously I am hugely disappointed not to be making my role debut in this new production of Otello but I look forward to returning to The Royal Opera next season to sing King Ferdinand in L’Ange de Nisida’.

Oliver Mears, Director of Opera added: ‘This has obviously been a very difficult decision to make, and we are disappointed that Ludovic will now not be able to make his role debut as Iago with The Royal Opera this Season. Otello is a major new production for us. The relationship between Otello and Iago is central to the opera, and it is essential to work through in rehearsals the complex interaction between these two characters. We look forward to Ludovic’s return in the 2017/18 Season, and we are very grateful that Italian baritone Marco Vratogna will sing the role of Iago on 21, 24, 28 June and 2, 6 and 10 July.’

Vratogna has previously sung Iago for Zürich Opera, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, and the Metropolitan Opera, New York, among other companies. He made his Royal Opera debut in 2008 as Paolo Albiani in Simon Boccanegra and has since sung Amonasro in Aida and Scarpia in Tosca for The Royal Opera. He returns to The Royal Opera to sing Scarpia during the 2017/18 Season.

The rest of the cast remains the same.

If you have a ticket please see terms and conditions of sale.

By Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media))

2 June 2017 at 4.17pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged by Keith Warner, cast change, Ludovic Tezier, Marco Vratogna, Otello, The Royal Opera

This article has 16 comments

  1. Sonia Ahn responded on 2 June 2017 at 5:44pm Reply

    I'm so sad...I was really looking Forward to seeing not only Jonas'Otello but also Ludovic's Iago. Ludovic, Get Well Soon!

  2. Barbara Gawel responded on 2 June 2017 at 9:56pm Reply

    This ROH decision is strange for me ...when Mr Terzier are not ill....two great artist and friends as Jonas and Ludo don't have so many time for make his kind of relatioship as Jago and Othello...I'm very surprised

    Barbara Gaweł from Kraków,Poland

  3. friend of royal opera house responded on 2 June 2017 at 11:13pm Reply

    i heard about that it is a big lie
    ludovic tezier could not come for don carlos because of personal reasons
    thats why he is punished now
    so stupid
    he is the best bariton in the world
    even jonas kaufman says that this decision is destroying this fantastic production and the film
    ludovic tezier is today in the best form of his life

  4. francois responded on 2 June 2017 at 11:38pm Reply

    since a few hours, on French forums, a strange tweet is circulating, apparently from Ludovic Tézier himself. In this tweet he pretends that he is in a very good shape! So why do you allude to "health reasons"?
    Is this tweet a fake? If not I really do not understand the ROH casting policy: When I come to the ROH It is to see the most brilliant casts, and Mr Tézier is one of the very few true Verdi baritones of today. How disappointing it is to replace him just for 2 days of delay! Mr Vratogna is a good singer, but nothing to compare with singers like Tézier or Hvorostovsky. I know that your position is not easy, but this time you really took a very very wrong decision, not at the level of what I expect when I pay an expensive price for a ROH ticket!

  5. Sebastian Petit responded on 4 June 2017 at 3:54pm Reply

    Pretty sure that account is not Tezier

  6. Helena LJ responded on 5 June 2017 at 10:25am Reply

    Reading this announcement leaves me feeling sad and speechles. Of course casting-offices have to do an enormous and difficult job, where lots of sensitivity and a good timing are required, but I can’t imagine that, what looks like rigid principles overrule diplomacy and compromise!
    How can, with still one month of rehearsal in front, arrise panic that a high quality premiere might not be achieved, leading to rushed decisions, when f.e. as result of condensed, intensive working, the highly acclaimed „Aida“-CD has been miracously produced by Mr. Pappano in a far shorter time (with many role debuts as well).
    Or another example: Vienna would have been denied the pleasure of an excellent premiere of „Il Trovatore“ this february with Netrebko, Alagna, Tézier, D’Intino, Armiliato, if such premature ‚exchange policy’ would have been applied (as more or less the whole cast has been taken ill for some period during rehearsal-time).
    I can only hope that hard Brexit methods won’t become now the rule even in artistic issues.

    Helena LJ, Munich, Germany

  7. Antonio responded on 5 June 2017 at 12:08pm Reply

    Regardless of the reasons for the change - and changes are a fact of life in live performances - I think that having Vratogna is a smart move by ROH, he is a great baritone and also brings a unique stage personality that will surely bring strength to the Iago character.. personally, I m very much looking forward to it.

  8. Emma responded on 6 June 2017 at 4:53pm Reply

    Could ROH please comment upon the above postings regarding the withdrawal of Ludovic Tezier. I am sure that we would all like to hear the other side of the coin. Many thanks, Emma

  9. Paula responded on 10 June 2017 at 11:18pm Reply

    What an opportunity lost! Kaufmann and Tézier in Otello - will we ever have the chance to hear them together in this opera?
    Very silly to miss this opportunity.

  10. Elizabeth Valois responded on 13 June 2017 at 9:30am Reply

    So, no further comment from ROH...???
    It's a pity...One would hope for more transparency and fairness to the audience and the performers...You cannot ignore that many people knowing Ludovic Tézier are perfectly aware of what really happened...

    • Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media)) responded on 13 June 2017 at 12:50pm

      Hi Elizabeth,

      We don't have any further comment to make at this time, following the statement from Oliver Mears above.

      Many thanks,


  11. Elizabeth Valois responded on 13 June 2017 at 1:44pm Reply

    Hi Mel,
    Thank you very much for your answer...I know it was not an easy decision to take for ROH...but it seems unbelievable that an agreement could not finally be found between both sides...Mr. Kaufmann and Mr. Tézier have been singing together many times, so it should have been less difficult for them to rehearse with a delay...Sounds like a beautiful opportunity sad !

  12. Barbara Wright responded on 29 June 2017 at 12:27am Reply

    Have just seen Othello [28 June] Vratagno was brilliant but Jonas Kaufmann disappointed.Perhaps the production?

  13. chris crowcroft responded on 29 June 2017 at 1:30pm Reply

    I reacted precisely the other way round, Kaufmann giving his considerable all and an impressive Agresta. Vratogna's acting was remarkable but, to me, he is becoming over-declamatory, voice short top and bottom and lacking in line when needed. The production certainly worked on camera.Best I've seen in 40 years.

  14. Isabella responded on 1 July 2017 at 2:34pm Reply

    It's a shame about Tézier, but Vratogna was excellent; he can play the role of Iago really well. I would love to know when the DVD is likely to be out, for though I went to the cinema to watch it, I am eager to see it again! Anyone know when this is going to be?

  15. Cynthia Chase responded on 28 January 2018 at 10:49am Reply

    One could not be disappointed, on seeing the production, because the direction was imaginative and, above all, because Jonas Kaufmann was superb, and it was fascinating to see him act and sing the role of Otello.

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