It's the Little Black Dress all over again.
In the wake of Tony Pappano's gripe at cancellations earlier today, soprano Jennifer Rowley has taken to Facebook to set the record straight about her late withdrawal from Robert le diable last year.
You may recall the head-scratching her exit provoked, and the questions it raised about the plausibility of the ROH's official explanation.
Here's Jennifer's version of events, in her own words:
My dear friends and fans,
It is sad and upsetting to me that my name is even associated with this article [ed. - see link below], and that the media continues to report Yesterday's news. Lets set the record straight: I did NOT pull out of Robert le Diable. I was replaced by a conductor who had a singer that HE wanted to sing the role from the beginning, a singer he knew well and had worked with many times previously. My vocal attributes were not what HE was looking for in the role, and thus a light coloratura soprano was brought in. You all know me very well; I am no where near that voice type in any way. My voice type in this role was an aesthetic choice of the house, and my replacement was an aesthetic choice of the conductor. Basta. This had nothing to do with me.
I appreciate the support of each and every one of you, and I love my friends, family, and fans immensely! You are what keeps me going, keeps me learning, keeps me positive, and keeps me striving for greatness! And despite ALL of this, I WILL get there!
A heart felt thank you you you all!
For anyone not au fait with the story, the conductor was Daniel Oren and the soprano brought in was Patrizia Ciofi - and my own (unofficial) enquiries at the time supported Jennifer's account entirely.
Just to make it clear, the Reuters article Jennifer cites - incidentally the same one I sourced Pappano's quotes from earlier today - doesn't accuse her of pulling out. But it does summarise the situation rather crudely as a 'musical problem':
"Covent Garden, home to the globally renowned Royal Opera and Royal Ballet companies, has suffered a series of cast changes in recent years, some of them at the last minute. Among the most dramatic was the decision less than a week before curtains went up in December to replace American soprano Jennifer Rowley in the rarely-performed Meyerbeer epic "Robert le Diable" due to a "musical problem"."