Breaking up: Netrebko leads new exodus from Japan

Breaking up: Netrebko leads new exodus from Japan


norman lebrecht

May 31, 2011

Anna Netrebko and Joseph Calleja are today’s dropouts from the Met’s threadbare tour of Japan.

Treb says she’s lived through one Chernobyl, can’t face another radiation dose (has she been eating e-coli German cucumbers?).

Calleja, the Matese tenor, had ‘last-minute misgivings’.

Jonas Kaufmann, Olga Borodina and James Levine were previous pullpouts, the last two on genuine health grounds.

Calleja will be replaced by Marcelo Alvarez and Rolando Villazon, no bad swap.

Treb, for Japanese audiences, will be irreplaceable.


  • Shinabel says:

    Who would care for Treb?
    She isn’t the BEST SOPRANO around; only the best selling.
    Artistry wise, the loss is hers. Marina Poplavskaya and Barbara Frittoli are both more than adequate, especially Frittoli as Mimi in La Boheme.
    The role fits her much better than the original Elisabetta in Don Carlo. Only that La Trebka was in the way then.
    The operatic world is much better WITHOUT HER, for sure.

  • BobG. says:

    This reminds me of the bullying that pacifists in England got from noncombatants during WWI. It’s easy to be brave when you yourself face no danger. These are artists, not soldiers, in an opera company, not a battalion. (And in America we have a volunteer army.) Perhaps you didn’t watch the programs about the earthquake, tsumami, and meltdown on the National Geographic Chanel and Nova. If you had, you’d realize this is real-life danger, not Hollywood special effects.

    No one should be made to feel guilty for steering clear of danger. Besides being artists, these are people with families and responsibilities.

    Foreign & Commonwealth Office: “There is a continuous risk of earthquakes and tsunamis throughout Japan. Latest warnings and advisories are published on the Japan Meteorological Agency website.”