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Our motto: "Critical thinking in the cheap seats." Unbiased, honest classical music and opera opinions, occasional obituaries and classical news reporting, since 2007. All written content © 2019 by Paul J. Pelkonen. For more about Superconductor, visit this link. For advertising rates, click this link. Follow us on Facebook.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Karita Mattila Drops the Ball

The Finnish diva cancels Verdi.
by Paul Pelkonen
Before TV and the Internet, this is what we'd sit around and watch when there was no opera.
Wood-burning stove courtesy of Fireplace Village.  
In the sport of baseball, the "hot stove league" is used to describe the sport's off-season, when fans would gather around said heating device in the depths of winter to discuss the personnel changes made by their favorite teams. Now, as the Met opera's off-season is from mid-May to late September (making stoves impractical) maybe we need a new phrase? "Dormant air conditioner?"

The Metropolitan Opera's 2011-2012 has been closed for five days now, and roster changes are already being made, affecting next season's slate of Verdi productions. According to a report on Parterre Box, Finnish soprano Karita Mattila has announced her withdrawal from the company's upcoming David Alden production of Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera. Ms. Mattila was scheduled to sing Amelia, the love interest of King Gustavo of Sweden (Marcélo Àlvarez).

Ms. Mattila, whose recent appearance at the Met in The Makropulos Case was a highlight of the spring season, was also slated to sing Elisabeth, the troubled wife of King Philip II of Spain in the company's revival of Don Carlo. A replacement has not been announced for those performances.

Her replacement is Sondra Radnavovsky, an American singer who has enjoyed a swift rise into the upper stratosphere of Verdi sopranos with recent appearances in Aida (pinch-hitting for the indisposed Violeta Urmana) and as Leonora in Il Trovatore. It was also announced that Mr. Àlvarez will sing all of the performances as Gustavo. The rest of the cast, with Dmitri Hvorovstovsky as Count Anckarström and Kathleen Kim as the page Oscar, remains intact.

There are seven Verdi operas scheduled for next season, in celebration of the composer's 200th birthday in October, 2013. In addition to Ballo and Don Carlo, opera lovers can look forward to a new Rigoletto (updated and moved to fabulous Las Vegas) and revivals of Aida, Otello, The others include Aida, Otello, Don Carlo, La Traviata and Il Trovatore. Watch Superconductor for more developments and our annual Metropolitan Opera Preview, coming in August.

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Critical Thinking in the Cheap Seats