Aug 14, 2007

The Netrebko / Villazon summer

It all started with Rolando Villazon cancelling the three gala performance with Netrebko and Elina Garanca in Baden-Baden (July 28 & 31, Aug. 3 broadcast live by the German TV Channel ZDF, that I watched while in Berlin). He was replaced by Ramon Vargas (never been a fan of him). Then, Rolando cancelled all his upcoming performances for the next two months, including the two scheduled Salzburg Festival recitals with Placido Domingo on Aug. 9 & 12 (soprano Ana María Martínez took over).
So Rolando must be back home in Neuilly (the richest Paris suburb) resting from this mysterious illness with no name (bad enough, though, to receive warm expressions of sympathy from the Salzburg Festival officials).
These officials, however, were less forgiving when Anna Netrebko cancelled her performances in Salzburg (Aug. 8 & 10), due to an inflamed larynx. Helga Rabl-Stadler, the head of the Salzburg music festival, called Netrebko's cancellation "an affront to the public. I am quite shocked that she is so unreliable." Then, Netrebko cancelled last minute yesterday's scheduled appearance at the Tuscan Sun Festival in Cortona, Italy. No loss at all there, as the general director Barrett Wissman, the powerful chairman of the IMG Artists management agency, secured Cecilia Bartoli as a last-minute replacement (what a replacement!). Netrebko evidently still intends to proceed as planned with her stadium tour of Germany beginning this Saturday, August 18. So a cancellation Saturday at noon should be expected...

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