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Celine Byrne replaces Anja Harteros in La bohème

Irish soprano to sing role of Mimì.

By Royal Opera House

12 April 2012 at 2.53pm | 29 Comments

Unfortunately, for personal reasons German soprano Anja Harteros is not able to take part in the rehearsals for La bohème as planned, and it has been necessary to replace her in the production.  The role will now be sung by Irish soprano Celine Byrne.

Celine Byrne has previously sung the role of Mimì for Scottish Opera.  She has performed around the world in concert, together with artists including José Carreras and Roberto Alagna. She has previously sung in concert with Joseph Calleja in Istanbul, conducted by Sascha Goetzel, with the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra. Future engagements include Violetta (La traviata) in Bulgaria, and she will open the 2012/13 season in Klagenfurt, Austria, as Agathe (Der Freischütz) under Alexander Soddy.

By Royal Opera House

12 April 2012 at 2.53pm

This article has been categorised Uncategorised and tagged cast change, La bohème

This article has 29 comments

  1. SB responded on 12 April 2012 at 5:30pm Reply

    This is wonderful news! I saw her come on in Rusalka, delighted that she will now sing a full role!

  2. David Edwards responded on 12 April 2012 at 6:01pm Reply

    Disappointed to say the least! You advertise a stellar cast, I pay £200 a ticket to see her and the tone of your announcement is unapologetic. Byrne is strictly 2nd division...

    • Ann FitzSimons responded on 13 April 2012 at 2:13pm

      Go and hear Celine.. She's brilliant

    • Larry, Dublin responded on 14 April 2012 at 9:39am

      Celine has a most beautiful voice and has served a wonderful apprenticship and is worthy of her chance to grace stage of Covent Garden. We are proud of Celine.

  3. David Edwards responded on 12 April 2012 at 7:20pm Reply

    And she pulled out of trittico last autumn: perhaps we shouldn't risk buying tickets for performances where she is booked

  4. MB responded on 12 April 2012 at 7:57pm Reply

    Will we be offered a refund?

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 13 April 2012 at 1:12pm

      Please contact the Box Office if you wish to discuss ticket exchange or re-sale.

  5. I heard Celine Byrne's Mimi in the Scottish Opera production. World class voice and born to sing this repertoire. I will come to the ROH production with pleasure.

  6. COM responded on 12 April 2012 at 10:51pm Reply

    We are so proud of you in Naas, Celine. Congratulations and best wishes on your lead role.

  7. Malcolm responded on 13 April 2012 at 5:55am Reply

    After Suor Angelica cancellation and now Mimi, Harteros fast becoming another Gheorghiu!! Concerns now for Otello, Don Carlo etc etc

  8. NJ responded on 13 April 2012 at 8:41am Reply

    Fantastic news! I also saw her in Rusalka - what a voice!

  9. DERMOT FITZSIMONS responded on 13 April 2012 at 9:45am Reply


  10. I hope and pray that personal reasons, or any reasons, whatever they might be, will not mean that Anja Harteros is not singing Desdemona in July. I have bought a very good ticket to Otello in the hopes of hearing her exquisite singing, and if it transpires that she is not taking part, I will seriously consider getting rid of it.

  11. You can bet that she ( Harteros ) wasn't the one who cancelled her performances. It was the opera house who kicked her out of this production, for absolutely stupid reasons!! .... so who's the fool now??

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 13 April 2012 at 12:46pm

      Anja Harteros is not able to take part in the rehearsals for La bohème as planned so unfortunately she has had to be replaced. We are hoping that she will be able to appear on stage as Desdemona in Otello.

  12. MB responded on 13 April 2012 at 1:52pm Reply

    There is no refund being offered. Why do this for Netrebko but not Harteros? Seems unfair to me! But if she won't do rehearsals, she shouldn't do the shows- it's not fair to her colleagues or audience.

  13. HL responded on 13 April 2012 at 2:34pm Reply

    This is absolutely WONDERFUL news! Celine saved the "Rusalka" show on 6 March to great acclaim. The ROH audience can be sure they will be treated to a lovely "Bohème" series: enjoy!!

  14. LP responded on 13 April 2012 at 5:07pm Reply

    PM is right,probably a clash of egoes.she is a star after all. Why is she expected to do endless rehearsals?Pavarotti and Domingo used to fly in only a few days before opening night.Management is denying us what we deserve and pay for.,and surely they could have anticipated this and come up with a star replacement

  15. FG responded on 14 April 2012 at 2:56pm Reply

    I can't understand the ROH decision : this Copley production is extremely old and traditional, it is really difficult to imagine that it needs weeks of rehearsals to any singer to perform in it. Frankly, coming from France with all the related expenses, I would have much preferred an under-rehearsed Harteros to any replacement, whatever be the talent of Mrs Byrne. And please, if you already know that Mrs Harteros will not sing Desdemona, advise us now, before we buy the Eurostar tickets and hotels.

    • HB responded on 15 April 2012 at 6:23am

      Anja Harteros is a leading world soprano and more than capable of performing and fit perfectly into an "old and traditional" production with almost no rehearsal time. Even if she can only make few (or almost none) of the rehearsals - for whatever reason - it would be a tragedy to miss out on her amazing portrayal of Desdemona and think she should be allowed to sing - even 'under-rehearsed'. (Like FG, I too am planning to travel from abroad to hear her.)

  16. Anne McGann responded on 14 April 2012 at 4:56pm Reply

    Congratulations to Celine Byrne she has a wonderful voice and stage presence she will be brilliant as Mimi.

  17. S Daniel responded on 14 April 2012 at 9:17pm Reply

    I've heard her several times, including as Mimi at the Grand Canal Theatre. Superb. Go hear this!

  18. Ms Harteros is indeed a world class soprano but whatever the reasons she has been withdrawn from her contract it surely has nothing to do with Ms BYRNE. It seems unfair for people to be taking from her talent and giving her bad posts as im sure these people have not not seen Ms Byrne perform. I have had the pleasure to hear her on more than one occasion most notably last April with Joseph Calleja in Istanbul. It will be great to see them both together again in this production . Two great young talents .BEST OF LUCK TO BOTH

  19. That might be true, but the ROH advertised two star pairings for this revival and priced it accordingly. If Harteros is out, I at least want Jaho!!

    • Just be grateful that Joseph Calleja is still singing ! He is superb. Worth paying any money to hear. Give Ms Byrne a chance- you might enjoy her singing !

  20. Karen Plewman responded on 17 April 2012 at 3:10pm Reply

    Celine has an amazing voice and her acting ability is comparable to Maria Callas, hence she won the Maria Callas competition some years ago. Give her your support, I think you will be wowed!

  21. JC responded on 18 April 2012 at 2:57am Reply

    Congratulations to my leading lady, Celine Byrne. She will be splendid as Mimi!

  22. R Brodie responded on 18 April 2012 at 11:16pm Reply

    I agree with HB above. Anja H has little need of rehearsal for a production that compared to her home Munich 'Boheme' has little subtlety of choreographed communication. Indeed on German tv last year she said that in her less demanding repertoire (Mozart cited) her muscles were so used to it that these were almost a 'holiday' Could it be ROH that is petty and ill- judged here ?

  23. Phillip Arnold responded on 28 April 2012 at 9:39am Reply

    Well, after all this hoo-hah, it appears that Celine Byrne is NOT appearing after all, but that Carmen Giannattasio will sing at all performances (except the Gheorghiu ones - or maybe those too, who knows, given Angela's cancellation record).

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