Just in: Covent Garden loses its Vespers soprano late in rehearsals

Just in: Covent Garden loses its Vespers soprano late in rehearsals


norman lebrecht

October 09, 2013

Announcement just up on the ROH site:

Marina Poplavskaya has fallen ill and had to withdraw from the role of Hélène for final rehearsals and the first three performances of The Royal Opera’s production of Les Vêpres siciliennes on 17, 21 and 24 October.

The role will now be sung by Armenian soprano Lianna Haroutounian (below), who made her debut with The Royal Opera in May 2013 singing the role of Elizabeth of Valois in Don Carlo. Her other recent roles have included Desdemona in Otello for Opéra-Bastille in Paris, Leonora in Il trovatore in Marseilles, Amelia in Simon Boccanegra in Lille, Mimì in La bohème for the Grand Théâtre in Tours and Amelia in Un ballo in maschera at the Stadttheater in Bern and the Grand Théâtre in Tours.  Her roles during the 2012–13 season included Elena in I vespri siciliani at the Megaron Concert Hall, Athens, and Hélène in the original French version of the same opera in Bilbao and Frankfurt; and Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly for Festival de Sanxay.

Marina hopes to be able to sing the remaining five performances on 29 October and on 1, 4, 7 and 11 November as scheduled. The rest of the cast remains the same.



  • Mike Schachter says:

    She was excellent in Don Carlo.

  • Paul West says:

    She was horrible in the Amsterdam profuction of La traviata and replaced after the première

    • mireille says:

      She sang hélène “en même temps” in the Frankfurter Opéra right before the last week’s opening at ROH! It’s very odd she “happened to be there when Marina Poplavskaya started the rehearsal. We are surpris because she was not planned and this day 22.10, the original planned cast will perform after several reviews of this production were not in favor of her singing (and screaming as we perceived! What for into the maestro to replace a great artist as Marina Poplavskaya with a second hand soubrette from Armenia!…et quelle production triste! Covent garden needs to revisiter le passé (Zefferelli!) pour Verdi! c’est mauvais!

  • …and there you have it. Next.