Anna Netrebko drops a role

Anna Netrebko drops a role


norman lebrecht

March 01, 2014

It’s unusual for a soprano to announce she is dropping a role before she has even sung it.

But Anna Netrebko is unusual.

As a result of today’s decision, we will never get to hear her as Marguerite in Faust. Covent Garden (next month), Vienna and Baden-Baden are scrambling to replace her. Some in the vocal biz think she has been singing too much Puccini to get back into the high romantics.

Here’s her website statement:



netrebko salzburg

A Statement from Anna Netrebko Regarding Her Withdraw (sic) from Faust

Mar 1, 2014

I am so sorry to have to withdraw from the role of Marguerite in Faust. After much consideration and intensive preparation, I have come to the conclusion that the role is not right for me. I had been very much looking forward to debuting this role at the Royal Opera House and following it with further performances in Vienna and Baden-Baden. Unfortunately, I must now withdraw from all these productions. I am very sad to be disappointing my fans in these citiesand hope they will understand the difficult decision that I have had to make. However, I am very much looking forward to returning to The Royal Opera to perform with the company again in 2015.

— Anna Netrebko

– See more at:


  • ed says:

    I wonder if it is also because the new ‘cold’ and propaganda wars erupting with more than a little nastiness (including the recent developments in Ukraine), and the almost certain political demonstrations that would surround and distract from the performances. Whatever the reason, too bad, she is a fine singer.

  • The Met was going to have her sing Marguerie in the Dez Mcanuff “nucular” Faust but the production is hated hated hated here. Before the season announcement it was quietly replaced it’s the current Met production of “Macbeth”. (Makes Mano corni, spits)

  • Peter says:

    I do wonder if her replacement will command a similar salary. If not, will the ticket prices be lowered, or refunds given to those of us who have already bought a ticket? Also, I don’t understand how it can take so long to realise a role isn’t suitable.

  • G Ell says:

    Translation: Vocal Decline.

  • Maybe she’s taking some time off to learn some Kurtag?….or Birtwistle? No?

  • It may be that she has decided that this role does not lie comfortably on her voice.

    It is about time that even the big stars turned around to the Impresarios and said, “You know, it isn’t about the money, but this one is not right for me”.

    • G Ell says:

      If anything, Marguerite ought to be congenial to her voice type at this stage. But it was the Trovatore Leonora she should have turned down. Who knows, she may be undergoing a vocal or other crisis. Some tonal decay and darkening of the sound are already evident. Plummy comes to mind. The proverbial bloom off the rose?

  • Darkening of the sound often could mean she’s over tired – a good reason to turn work down. Do remember she is mother to an Autistic son. Some rest, back to the singing teacher – a reappraisal of what she is doing.

    Marguerite sits lower than Leonora. The tessiatura could just be uncomfortable. If the tone is more plummy, she may be aware of some vocal health issues and need a break. Maybe you were right and Leonora was a bad choice. If that is the case, then the last thing Netrebko needs is another new role.

    Better for her to recouperate, get some lessons and refocus. She does not want to be another casualty of the Operatic Industry.

    • G Ell says:

      And then there is Lady Macbeth. Excuse me but Netrebko and LB are a mismatch if there was ever one. Leonora is a better fit and that may have been a mistake. We may have another Leonie Rysanek in the making, with about 1/2 the voice.

  • Yes Addison says:

    Well, she also changed her mind on singing all the love interests in Les Contes d’Hoffmann at the Met back in 2009, and ended up doing only Antonia (and Stella, who in that performing edition is a mute role). So this isn’t sounding alarm bells for me. It’s just another case of contracts being drawn up years in advance, things having changed in the years between then and now. She sounds good in what I’ve heard of the Manon Lescaut with Muti, and that role seems a better fit for what she has now than Marguerite would have been. Also better than her most recent revisits to Adina and the Massenet Manon, which sounded to me parts she was due to set aside.