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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Bottle Fatigue

Anna Netrebko to miss first two performances of L'Elisir d'Amore.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Pass the hat: Anna Netrebko is ill. Andriana Chuchman will make an early Met debut as Adina in L'Elisir d'Amore.
Photo by Chia Messina for Opus 3 Artists. Photo alteration by the author.
L'Elisir d'Amore will return tonight at the Metropolitan Opera, but without Anna Netrebko. In a late-breaking story, the Russian soprano has bowed out of the first two performances of the Donizetti opera, citing illness. Tonight marks the first performance of the bel canto comedy this season.

The report, which was first seen by this reporter on Facebook, was confirmed this afternoon by the Metropolitan Opera press office. As of this writing, Ms. Netrebko is scheduled to return for the performance on Friday, Jan. 17 and presumably for the four performances that wrap up the run.

Ms. Netrebko's replacement is Canadian-Ukranian soprano Andriana Chuchman who will make her company debut as Adina in the Bartlett Sher production. This production, which updates the action of the bel canto comedy to the peninsular guerrilla warfare of the Risorgimento was created for Ms. Netrebko, who sang the role on opening night of the 2012-2013 season.

Ms. Chuchman is already on the Met roster for this season, and is scheduled to sing Miranda in the company's revival of The Enchanted Island later this winter. Other recent appearances include Gretel in Hansel and Gretel at the Glyndebourne Festival and Olympia in the Canadian Opera Company's recent production of Les Contes d'Hoffmann. New York opera-goers may remember her for her appearance as Minka in Chabrier's Le roi malgré-lui at the Bard Festival.

The remainder of the cast: Ramon Vargas as Nemorino, Simone Alaimo as Belcore, and Erwin Schrott as Doctor Dulcamara, remain unchanged. For more on this opera, visit the Superconductor Metropolitan Opera Preview for L'Elisir d'Amore.

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Critical Thinking in the Cheap Seats