Jonas Kaufmann wasn't ill; Anja Harteros turned up. Given that she'd marked half her lines at the general rehearsal earlier in the week (every singer's prerogative of course, but rare here) I had wondered. If success is defined as exceeding expectations, then the opening night of this third revival was a winner even before a note was sung.
Antonio Pappano had a fierce word or three for singers who pull out of productions at today's Royal Opera House press conference. Reuters reports:
"It happens a lot," he told reporters, referring to cancellations. "It
happens more and more. There's something about this generation of singers, that
they are weaker in their bodies or don't care.
"I don't know what it is, but it's something that is very very frustrating
for me personally."
Asked afterwards to expand on his remarks, he explained it was partly a
health issue, with common colds tending to last longer than, say, 10 years
"You can imagine singers. That's a real problem. And there's so much
travelling involved now with good singing. I think that people are overbooked,
they're over-committed, too many new things, the stress on them and the amount
"I mean (for Spanish tenor Placido) Domingo to cancel, (he) would have to be
on his death bed. It's just a different generation.
"It's taken much more lightly today, the idea of contract, the idea of a
commitment. It's true."
He called on opera stars to take longer rest periods between roles to cut
down on the risk of illness and exhaustion.