Festival chaos as last-gasp Susanna flies in 6 months pregnant

Festival chaos as last-gasp Susanna flies in 6 months pregnant


norman lebrecht

August 05, 2015

The Edinburgh Festival’s production of The Marriage of Figaro is in trouble.

Opening a week from now, it has lost both Susanna and Bartolo and has scrambled for replacements.

The soprano Ekaterina Siurina cancelled for no good reason – at least none that has been given.

The bass Robert Lloyd is also out.

The Spanish soprano Sylvia Schwartz (pictured) is flying in, but she’s six months gone and already on baby leave. Good trooper Andrew Shore is trundling up north to replace Bob Lloyd.

Ivan Fischer conducts the Budapest Festival Orchestra.

Subscribers will shortly be seeing the letter below.

Sylvia Schwartz

Dear Festival supporter,

I have to inform you of changes to the cast for the staged concert performances of The Marriage of Figaro by the Budapest Festival Orchestra on Wednesday 13, Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 August. Ekaterina Siurina is no longer able to perform the role of Susanna. I’m delighted to announce however that Sylvia Schwartz will now perform the role in her place. And as Robert Lloyd is no longer able to perform the role of Bartolo, Andrew Shore will now perform in his place.  

Spanish soprano Sylvia Schwartz is one of the most exciting lyric singers of her generation. She has appeared at many of the world’s finest opera houses and festivals including La Scala, Milan, Berlin Staatsoper, The Bolshoi Theatre, and Salzburg and Verbier festivals. She has worked with conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim and Rene Jacobs and performed the role of Susanna with the Vienna State Opera in 2011.        

Andrew Shore is acknowledged as one of the finest baritones of today. He has performed with all the major opera houses in the UK, and internationally with The Metropolitan Opera, New York, La Scala, Milan, Paris Opera and San Francisco Opera amongst many others.

Mr Shore has performed the role of Bartolo with Iván Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra in New York in 2013, and will also perform the role with the English National Opera in the autumn.

The Edinburgh International Festival is extremely grateful to Ms Schwartz and Mr Shore for agreeing to perform in what promises to be a wonderful event.  

Yours sincerely,



  • Anon says:

    Hardly chaos, if they’ve got replacements is it? And so what if she’s pregnant? She’s obviously healthy enough to do it, and familiar with the role. Why should someone being pregnant mean they are a 2nd class singer which is what you seem to be implying? As usual making non news, news!

  • Iain Scott says:

    Goodness I wonder what the headline would be if something chaotic actually did happen.

  • MarieTherese says:

    Ekaterina Siurina, although possessed of a lovely voice, should have given up the role of Susanna a while ago. Her voice was already getting too large for it in late 2010 when she sang the role in Paris and she’d be much better suited to the Contessa at this point in time.

  • Jerome Hoberman says:

    Sylvia will be wonderful!

  • Pamela Brown says:

    Since everything connected with Mozart — because of his unusual gifts — happens within a vortex, turbulence is to be expected…