Why Angela missed her entry at the Vienna Opera

Why Angela missed her entry at the Vienna Opera


norman lebrecht

April 18, 2016

There are all sorts of theories doing the rounds as to why Angela Gheorghiu left Jonas Kaufmann counting his fingernails on stage when she failed to make a crucial entry.

Here are some of the most popular notions from Conspiracy Central:

1 She resented Kaufmann getting an encore for E lucevan

2 She wasn’t happy with the substitute conductor (Jesus Lopez-Cobos standing in for Mikko Franck)

3 She had to take a call from her broker

4 She had to answer a call of nature

5 A suspender snapped

6 The weather changed

7 She had a senior moment.

Feel free to add your own.

Here’s the horrendous moment when Angie fails to appear.

gheorghiu kaufmann



  • Jared says:

    This site is way too clickbait-y. If you have information then post it, if you don’t then don’t imply that you do in the headline. I’m close to unsubscribing.

  • CGDA says:

    In opera, is it really possible to miss a cue?

    • Absurdistan says:

      If you’re a soprano for the sake of whom nature sacrificed IQ in exchange for (some kind of ) voice, yes, everything is possible.

      • julie says:

        You should go check yourself. Where does your hatred come from? Or is it just ignorance and pure stupidity?
        Check yourself before you wreck yourself :))

        • Absurdistan says:

          Julie, why should anybody hate any overrated opera singers? They are not evil, they are not Bin Laden or something. They are amusing more than anything.

          It is also amusing that groupies of mediocre, arrogant little stars confuse realism, criticism and amusement with “hatred”.

          • julie says:

            You are the only one who can answer your question. It’s clear as daylight that you have something against her. My guess is that it’s your stupidity, ignorance and frustration all combined.

          • MDS says:

            Let it go.

    • Bruce says:

      Pavarotti had a funny story about a time (I forget what house or what opera) when he *thought* he had plenty of time to get ready, and was still in his underwear when he heard his introductory music coming over the speakers and the knock on his door telling him it was time to go on. No one had told him (and he hadn’t informed himself) that that night’s performance started at 7:30, not 8:00. So yes, it is possible.

      But that was his first entrance of the opera. I don’t know how you miss your entrance in Act III unless you have food poisoning or something.

      • Absurdistan says:

        Good question, Bruce. Basically you are either trying to create a big fuss – “I am the star, MEMEMEMEME, not this little tenor” – or you are completely mentally incapable to function in a responsible way.

        I am not sure which applies here, but, in all fairness, I wouldn’t exclude an esoteric combination of the two.

      • Petros Linardos says:

        Pavarotti’s story was with Aida, where the tenor appears on stage right after the 4-5′ prelude.

  • Isabelle says:

    She really did miss it but they failed to show it on the live broadcast. Instead one could see the conductor trying to go on twice and then kaufmann laughing and improvising smth to overplay the gap.
    …kind of cool how he did it an this would be more worth of writing about! 😉 chappeau jonas!!!

  • julie says:

    The conductor kept going on with the music and didn’t even realise AG did not appear on stage..he was only looking in the scores without taking a peek at what’s going on on stage..only stopped when JK’s line came up and he said “the soprano is missing”

    It’s mind-blowing to read that she “resented” Kaufmann for the encore or that she was in any way jealous of him. AG is one of the best sopranos of our time! People should stop looking for a scandal where there is none..

    • Bruce says:

      I would GUESS that the conductor realized she wasn’t onstage yet, but if there’s a little backstage mishap — cape getting caught in a door or something — the singer can rush on tempestuously a few measures late and sing her first line while sprinting across the stage to her target (in this case Kaufmann). No need to stop the show until there is an actual need to stop the show.

      • Olassus says:


        Even slow Lucevans, like Luciano’s, clock in at around 3 minutes, so I don’t buy the idea that the diva innocently returned to her room to sit out JK’s encore and then was surprised when JLC (correctly) precluded a second ovation, especially after she had days before (correctly) pointed out to Vienna media that encores interrupt the musical and dramatic flow. No. She was irked: See? I can interrupt the flow too. The Italian press, and no doubt members of the audience, understood immediately. I’m sure Jonas and Bryn had a big laugh later about the antics of a true-diva colleague they obviously love. It’s sad that the Vienna State Opera felt the need to generate an explanation.

  • Absurdistan says:

    Jonas Kaufmann entered in history as not only a talented tenor but also a witty man who knew how to respond to the temper tantrums of an again, small-talent legend in her own mind.

    Good for him.

    Too bad Sweet Angela has neither the IQ nor the character to learn anything from her humiliating experience.

  • julie says:

    Angela Gheorghiu gained international fame and recognition in 1994 at the ROH in Richard Eyre’s Traviata and has been in the top ever since, performing in the most important opera houses and concert halls around the globe and is also one of the most prolific recording artists in the business. She has truly stood the test of time! She also says it like it is in a business where not many people are able to stand up for themselves.

    As for Jonas Kaufmann, he gained popularity only recently, in 2006 after La Traviata at The Met (with…Gheorghiu). He still has a lot to prove. Regarding the bis from the first Tosca performance in Vienna, it came after his long absence on stage and, although a wonderful rendition of “E lucevan le stelle”, it wasn’t really necessary. He should have just given his fans what they really wanted and taken his shirt off..The bis from the second performance was the result of a precedent created at the first performance.

    • Bruce says:

      Kaufmann has only been famous for 10 years, so he “still has a lot to prove”? Interesting.

    • Olassus says:

      No encore is “really necessary.” The breakthrough as an international star was the 2009 Lohengrin; he was already professionally established in Zurich and known for Lied before the 2006 Met Alfredos, which passed with little fanfare in New York. As for what Kaufmann has “to prove,” where have you been?

      • julie says:

        By saying “he still has a lot to prove” I meant strictly that he still has to stand the test of time (in comparison to Gheorghiu who had her breakthrough 12 years before him)..which I’m sure he will!
        I didn’t mean to offend anyone and sorry if I did.
        I do consider Kaufmann one of the greatest tenors of our time that continues to surprise me with every new performance that he does.

        • MDS says:

          Julie said:

          “I didn’t mean to offend anyone and sorry if I did.”

          It’s OK. You’re probably not a day over 15.

    • Jaybuyer says:

      Julie, I’ve found that a cup of strong breakfast tea with a shot of whisky in it works wonders.

  • Les Mitnick says:

    The notion that Kaufmann still has something to prove is just about the dumbest and most stupid statement possible. He’s THE Dramatic Tenor king of opera and HAS been for the last decade. His vast repertoire of Italian, German and French roles, as well as his excursions into the song literature of Schumann, Strauss, Duparc, and Mahler have put the seal on his artistic validity. And his looks don’t hurt either. The guy’s got it all. The only other opera tenor (albeit a totally different type of tenor) is Juan Diego Flores, who specializes in bel canto —— totally opposite repertoire from Kaufmann’s. Both these guys RULE opera!
    Gheorghiu? She’s a beautiful woman with a gorgeous voice that hasn’t declined one bit in the last twenty years. A little goofy sometimes, but she sure as hell can sing some roles beautifully. Have seen/heard her many times and feel that those who bash her are either jealous of her success or just plain dingbats. She’s dynamite. So she missed a cue! Who cares?

    • Absurdistan says:

      Beautiful woman? Well, I am not going to argue with that. She could play Samantha’s grandmother, in “Bewitched”, anytime. She should perhaps buy a better quality hair dye, though, the black shoe polish she’s smearing her head with is a tad passé.

      More recently she manacled herself to a dentist thirty years younger than herself. Those dentures won’t pay for themselves, apparently.

      More importantly though, she is an overrated, washed-out epitomical primadonna of little talents, and that she is still employed by theaters which used to be serious, more than about her meager talents, speaks about the declining standards of our times.

      • JK says:

        Once again, we see Absurdistan continue with his obsessive, personal and degrading opinions on AG. You should get a life! (or professional treatment)

        For someone who despises her, why do you care so much to express your spiteful, demeaning comments? Why bother? Who cares about her personal life or if she missed a cue?!
        Your comments only define you as a misogynistic p_g.

        AG is one of the greatest sopranos of our time, with a stunning voice and incredible good looks! Nobody completely sane can deny this. Deal with it! ..you should do us all a favour and leave this group

        You are completely ridiculous! Shame on you

        • Absurdistan says:

          Well, Julie/JK/Klaus/Gerhard Etc. (Mr. Lebrecht *knows* you are the same person, even if you childishly sign with multiple monikers), by making fun of the fanatic Burlacu zombies, we offer a social and medical service.

          The more you foam at the mouth about the “stunning looks” and “formidable shape” of this arrogant, unprofessional has-been, the more therapeutic it is for you to be confronted with the EVIDENCE of her wrong-doing.

          You believe you “shame” me. Not really. All you achieved is to show that Ms. Burlacu’s dwindling fanclub leaves by the same low standards and disregard for anything but herself that she does. Hopefully that helps you a little.

          • julie says:

            You’re sooo funny, really! At least you have a sense of humour! You think you are discrediting someone but all you do is actually just showing the others what a dimwit you are. You have an obsession with AG

            I won’t bother responding to you anymore since it’s clear to me that you are just a rude, insolent blockhead.

          • norman lebrecht says:

            Quit trolling other readers. Post factually and respectfully, or leave the site

    • julie says:

      By saying “he still has a lot to prove” I meant strictly that he still has to stand the test of time (in comparison to Gheorghiu who had her breakthrough 12 years before him)..which I’m sure he will! I didn’t mean to offend anyone and I’m sorry if I did. I do consider Kaufmann one of the greatest tenors of our time. He continues to surprise me with every new performance that he does!

  • Klaus says:

    I was in Vienna for both performances of Tosca. Although Kaufmann did a beautiful job, the bis from the first performance felt “forced”. His fans, mostly women, were cheering for a couple of minutes (don’t forget that JK was returning after a longer absence due to illness) and then he started laughing, making the crowd even more excited. He then made a sign to the conductor to turn back the pages of the score…The bis from the second performance was bound to happen after this precedent was created. For the first performance, conductor Mikko Franck stopped after the bis for more applause, while at the second one, conductor Jesús López Cobos, a last-minute replacement, went on with the music without stopping. So the official explanation of why AG was late is very plausible.

    Personally, I think JK’s bis was an unnecessary distraction and it may have been prearranged for more publicity. While I do love Jonas Kaufmann as a tenor, in my opinion this was just a selfish and inconsiderate act.

    It’s the first time I read these blogs and I’m astounded of how rude and malicious people can be. Rudeness is just the weak man’s imitation of strength.
    Angela Gheorghiu was, as always, in formidable shape and the role of Tosca suits her like a glove. Her singing and acting skills are stunning and she has one of the most recognizable timbre in the business. She truly stands the test of time, singing and performing all over the world for 25 years. Anyone who begs to differ is doing it out of some kind of inexplicable frustration. She is capable of move a whole crowd to tears, a “quality” that not many musicians have.
    Jonas Kaufmanns’ voice has grown a lot in the last years and he is, deservedly, one of the most famous living tenors. Kaufmann’s Cavaradossi is surely the most compelling one I heard until now.
    Bryn Terfels’ Te Deum captured all the required drama and passion. His stage presence is impressive!

    I’m glad and privileged to have witnessed live two memorable and historical opera moments at the Vienna State Opera.

  • Absurdistan says:

    Unlike Ms. Burlacu’s fanatic worshipper, I do NOT use multiple names (“Julie”, “JK”, “Klaus” – time to check some IPs here – it is against the policy of this site to allow a poster to use multiple nicknames) to post the same adoring garbage about the uber-mediocrity Angela Burlacu, the laughing stock of the opera world, the “narcissistic bleating sheep” as she is known among the connoisseurs.

    She is a “great singer” only in the world of the uncultivated, the deaf, and the brainwashed. The “stunning good looks” nonsense speaks of an un unhealthy obsession with a rather horrid, witch-like woman in her sixth decade of her selfish, self-adoring life, marinating her gray hair in black shoe polish.

    The bottom line remains – Jonas Kaufmann gave her an unforgettable lesson of wit, Melodramatic Angela is on her way out, and her jealousy and obsession with power and control don’t help her withering “talents” any. Behaving like a spoiled teenager during her sixth decade of her life doesn’t make her any more lovable, just an epitome of ridiculous and unprofessional behavior.

    • Gerhard says:

      Congrats, you have chosen an excellent nick. One hardly can get more absurd than you in your statements.

  • Bill Worley says:

    Here I will admit that I have never been keen on AG and chose not to go to her performances. I know people will think I am deaf or stupid – each to their own and one man’s meat etc. However just because I don’t like her, I would never be so rude as some of the people commenting above.

  • esfir ross says:

    In Met Angela G. was called “Draculitza” for her diva antics.

  • Fred says:

    until mme Angela speaks out for herself NOBODY here knows WHY she was late.
    From the b’cast it was clear Kaufmann got a good ovation but it was also clear there were a bunch of screaming ladies who erupted with bravos every time the applause started to slow down. It did sound a bit manupulated to say the least.
    He’s a good tenor but he was not Always on top during the b’cast performance. and like his example Corelli also distorted the musical lines.
    I also know that live the voice does not sound as big as on b’casts or the CD’s but he’s a fine tenor indeed….