Now confirmed: Mezzo-soprano breaks hand in Bolshoi premiere – and carries on singing

Now confirmed: Mezzo-soprano breaks hand in Bolshoi premiere – and carries on singing


norman lebrecht

November 03, 2011

I am hearing from Moscow that there was unreported drama at the Bolshoi during the opening night of Ruslan and Lyudmilla.

Apparently, the international mezzo-soprano Yelena Zaremba broke her hand during the performance. She went backstage, received a painkilling injection and bandage and came right back half an hour later to resume the role of Naina.

Although the fracture has showed up on x-ray, she still plans to sing the next performance. There has been no official confirmation of the reports I am receiving and I am hedging them with appropriate caution. If you were there, please post a comment or contact the site direct.

The premiere has been surrounded with secrecy. At a press night, journalists had a chance to see only one scene from the opera (photo).photo (c) Ria-Novosti/Lebrecht Music & Arts.

The incident calls to mind Joyce DiDonato’s courage when she broke a leg in Barber of Seville at Covent Garden, in July 2009. They are made of good stuff, these mezzos.


UPDATE:  has just confirmed my original report. Here’s the google translation:

In the first part there was not a soloist of the Bolshoi Theatre.Mezzo-soprano Elena Zaremba, who sang Naina, during the performance fell badly on the stage and broke her arm. But heroically sang the show completely. And, apparently, will sing the remaining six performances. Statement before its commencement was announced in the media scandal.Indeed, the scandal was in the hall: every now and then shouts from the floor, and once the audience was divided into two camps, and began chanting “Shame!” And “Bravo!”, Trying to shout each other. That is in the best opera houses of Europe. Nothing of the kind we did not have before. So even in this sense, the first night of “Ruslan and Ludmila” can be called historic. A more detailed review of the statement will be released on OPENSPACE.RU shortly.