Joyce to sing two Marias in 18 hours

Joyce to sing two Marias in 18 hours


norman lebrecht

February 25, 2016

The Canadian soprano Joyce El-Khoury is stepping in last minute to sing the title role in Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda at Seattle Opera after Serena Farnocchia fell sick.

The opening night is February 27 and it will be Joyce’s role debut.

Trouble is, she was already down to sing the matinee on February 28. Problem?

No problem. We hear she’ll sing both.

joyce el-khoury


  • Una says:

    Was nothing in the ‘old days’ to do things like this. Heather Harper has a wonderful story of singing whatever at Covent Garden and then finding out she had been contracted to sing Brahms Requiem at the Festival Hall on the same night. So she got out of her opera gear and wig. Got the understudy to do some bit of the opera, and went off to do the Brahms, and came back and finished off the opera. It would be against ‘health and safety’ or something like that this day and age!!!

    • Steven Ledbetter says:

      In 1957, the baritone Walter Cassel sang THREE major roles at the Met in the space of 30 hours….a Friday evening, Saturday matinee, and Saturday evening. I think the first and last were scheduled, but the matinee was an emergency replacement. I don’t think I’ve heard of another situation in which one singers takes on three different roles in a major house, in such a short space of time. He was Scarpia, Kurwenal, and Jochanaan!

    • Max Grimm says:

      I suspect double-booking wasn’t very popular in the “old days” either.

  • Wiebke Göetjes says:

    Good for her!!

    Quite normal in German Operahouses, though……
    I sang 4 x Aida in 5 days,
    Fidelio/Léonore on Saturday night and Entführung/Konstanze on Sunday matinee,
    Tosca/Tosca in the evening, following a Ariadne auf Naxos Orchestra rehearsal the morning before.
    All of this after 600 x Phantom of the Opera (Carlotta Giudicelli) in 2 years.

    If you have a good technique (and youth) this won’t kill you….
    (don’t think you should do it constantly though)..

  • Wiebke Göetjes says:

    Aida in Aida….
    Also: Saturday night Butterfly/Butterflyand Sunday night Aida/Aida in another
    theatre about 400 km driving in between….

    (sorry for another post, I couldn’t correct the other one..)