UPDATE, Tuesday, 7:45 AM: The Met sent out a press release at 1:27 AM New York time today announcing major changes to its roster for the tour of Japan this month. La Cieca has revised the following gossip item (which appeared at 11 PM last night) to reflect the Met’s confirmations.
EARLIER: La Cieca has just heard from a Met insider that the following cast changes have been made to the company’s Japan tour, set to open June 4: Anna Netrebko and Joseph Calleja and Mariusz Kwiecien have all reportedly canceled. (“Ms. Netrebko changed her mind because of the emotional weight of having also lived through the tragedy of Chernobyl. She didn’t feel that she would be able to present her best performances and didn’t want to disappoint her Japanese fans. Mr. Calleja also had last-minute misgivings about performing in Japan at this time.”)
Barbara Frittoli will replace Netrebko as Mimi in La bohème; the role of Marcello is TBA. Piotr Beczala will perform Rodolfo as scheduled on June 4, 8 and 11, with Marcelo Alvarez taking over the role on June 17 and 19.
But wait, there’s more!
With Frittoli busy singing Puccini, Marina Poplavskaya will replace her as Elisabetta in Don Carlo for all performances. Rolando Villazon will return to the Met for a one-night stand as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor in the June 9 performance, replacing Calleja, then Alexei Dolgov (who?) fills in on the 12th before Beczala performs as scheduled on the 16th and 19th.
The “gala” concert on June 14 will include neither Netrebko nor Kwiecien and currently lists only orchestral works, with vocal soloists TBA “Diana Damrau, Barbara Frittoli, and Piotr Beczala will join Mariusz Kwiecien for the Suntory Hall concert on June 14, replacing Ms. Netrebko. The program for this concert will be announced shortly.”