Barenboim drops 93 year-old soprano from his cast

Barenboim drops 93 year-old soprano from his cast


norman lebrecht

December 20, 2015

Six months ago, Daniel Barenboim promised Luisa Mandelli, who sang Annina opposite Maria Callas’s Violetta in Luchino Visconti’s 1955 Traviata at La Scala, that she would reprise the role before Christmas in Berlin.

Sadly, it was not to be.

Graham Spicer reports at Gramilano that Luisa got sent home from Berlin  – apparently due to health-and-safety fears.

She is bitterly disappointed.

Read what happened here.





  • Peter says:

    They certainly owe her to pay for her expenses and also a reasonable compensation for her preparation time, but musically it probably was the right decision.
    Barenboim certainly had to avoid a clownery, this case was about to become.
    A reincarnation of Florence Foster Jenkins, we will now miss that.
    Judge for yourself, here is the youtube clip with Signora trying to get into shape.

  • Lachera says:

    Very disappointing behavior from Barenboim. Better not invite the old lady if you are not sure she can sing.

  • RW2013 says:

    She probably realised how atrocious the production would be, and wisely didn’t want to have anything to do with it.

  • MacroV says:

    Probably a wise decision once they got working on it, but then they should have graciously and publicly apologized, said it wasn’t going to work out, and without question cover all her relevant expenses. Could have been an inspired move but no need to make a debacle out of it.

  • Bruce says:

    “An earlier version of this post reported that none of the expenses of the trip were covered. In fact, Berlin paid for her plane flight and hotel, but the return trip to Rome airport, restaurants, taxis and so on – which would have been covered by her performance fee – were not reimbursed.”

    If the management cancelled her that close to the performance, they should have paid her her performance fee. It couldn’t have been much, and they can afford it.