Vienna is hit by another big star bug

Vienna is hit by another big star bug


norman lebrecht

January 15, 2015

First Simon Keenlyside crashed out of Rigoletto. Now Ramon Vargas has pulled out of Simon Boccanegra at the end of the month.

His deps are the lesser-known Alfred Kim and Stefano Secco.


ramon vargas


  • John Borstlap says:

    The cause of so many colds plaguing the singers at the state opera is easy to detect: the architectural design of the building shows many arches, pillars, ballustrades, coridors open at all sides, grand staircases (Aufstiege) with opernings all around, so draughts have free play there. The Viennese called the building the ‘crate’ after it opened in 1869. Only later the Viennese took the building to their heart, feverishly coughing.

    • John says:

      Fascinating theory but as these are repertory performances of a production that’s been in the rep since 2002 I would be amazed if any of the principal singers are even in Vienna yet!!!

      • John Borstlap says:

        Viennese biugs are very contagious… and singers very presentient, due to their studying opera roles (you have to think much ahead for whole acts).

  • tristan says:

    not a huge role and Vargas past his prime. I may remind you that vocally Keenlyside is no first class Rigoletto either. One can live with both cancellations.
    I may remind you that last year ROH has two major cancellations: Netrebko and Beczala and a year before Harteros in Don Carlos. Those singers were major losses!
    Don’t blame the architecture of the great Viennese State Opera, ridiculous.

  • MarieTherese says:

    It’s winter. People travel. Planes are breeding grounds for germs and the flu and respiratory viruses are rampant, so I’d bet that Mr Vargas picked up a bug some place and is prudently tucked up in bed, as he should be, rather than exposing others in the cast to his germs. I wish him a speedy recovery.