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Subject: Re: News about ROH "Don Carlo" May 29 matinee
From: Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 31 May 2017 08:51:03 -0700
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You should have been on Facebook - it was all over, especially among
friends of some of the principals.  Evidently, Covent Garden doesn't hire
covers.  Their feeling is that unlike the big American houses which are
isolated and far apart, they can have replacements close fairly quickly.
In this case, it didn't work.  If I were the casting director of the
theatre, and I got called out for this, I would damn well make sure my
Celestial Voice could sing Elisabetta if necessary, my Lerma,  DC in a
pinch and my Frate either Filippo or the Inquisitor.  In 1959 at the Met,
Martina Arroyo, later a great Elisabetta, was the Celestial Voice & Leonie
Rysanek was the Elisabetta.  This is a sad thing, both for the people who
came, the singers, and especially for Kristin Lewis, no singer wants this
to happen to him/her.  Posa's are (sorry) fairly easy to replace, but
Elisabetta, Eboli, DC and Filippo are not.  They should have been prepared.


One thing surprised me, I know that in NYC, there are probably at least 20
sopranos around who could step in (no, not stars, but younger singers on
the circuit who haven't been discovered yet and some older ones too - all
the managers know who they are) and I would assume London is similar.  Its
been said they didn't want to take a chance on a nobody but really,
occasionally nobodies turn out to be somebodies.

Look, I wasn't there and its unfair to second guess the professionals who
run ROH but there is the element of comic opera in all of this.  It was an
unfortunate day for all.  The old days when the Met had at least two covers
on hand for major roles don't exist anymore.  The days when a Milanov could
step in for a Tebaldi, a Kirsten for a Price, a Tucker for a Corelli, well,
that's history.  With scheduling the way it is today and the mobility of
the current generation of singers, I guess people are just not lying around
waiting to go on.

Donald

On Wed, May 31, 2017 at 12:57 AM, Pattie Kealy <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> We just got back to Vancouver from a long trip, which ended with five days
> in London. Saw
> "Don Carlo" on May 26 and "Elisir" on May 27 -- very pleased with both. We
> spent our last
> morning on May 30th strolling around Covent Garden and, as the doors to
> the ROH were
> open, we stepped into the foyer and started chatting with a staff member
> there. I was
> telling her what we'd seen and she told us that they hadn't been able to
> give a complete
> performance of "Don Carlo" at the May 29 matinee because Kirstin Lewis
> (replacing
> Stoyanova for the entire run) became seriously ill an hour before curtain
> and was taken to
> hospital. They could not get a replacement for her so they performed only
> the scenes in
> which Elisabetta does not appear (which took 80 minutes) and then gave
> everyone a
> refund! How strange! I couldn't find any mention of this on line just now.
> I believe that was
> the last performance of "Don Carlo."
>
> I was very glad to be able to see Bryan Hymel live, and although I was
> sorry that Ludovic
> T├ęzier had to cancel, I was delighted with his replacement, German
> baritone Christoph Pohl
> -- very fine singing and acting. Operabase.com shows that he mostly
> performs in Dresden.
>
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