Now Netrebko’s Met replacement has her say

Now Netrebko’s Met replacement has her say


norman lebrecht

May 03, 2016

Sonya Yoncheva will open the 2016-17 Covent Garden season as Norma, instead of Anna Netrebko.

Sondra Radvanovsky will replace Netrebko at the Met opening of 2017-18.

Sondra says: Well, the cat is out of the bag….I will be singing the new production and opening night of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2017-2018 season in NORMA! YEAHHH! So happy to be working with Sir David McVicar again as well as Joseph Calleja and Joyce Di Donato! Hugs, Sondra  


Sonya is Bulgarian. Sondra is American.

All sorts of other ways to tell them apart.


  • Sondra says:

    And Sondra is Canadian too! 🙂

  • Peter Kaufman says:

    Sondra has rightly been given what should have been hers all along. She has proven herself to be the leading Norma (no disrespect to the great Angela Meade) in the world with new productions and telecasts in important houses here and abroad. Her triumph as Norma at the MET after 20 years of hard work (with little reward in the house that she grew up in) was greeted by Gelb’s announcement that his beloved Anya, unproven in one of the most difficult roles in the entire repertory, would receive a coveted new production of the Druid priestess, yet another opening night and of course an HD simulcast. I have heard Ms. Netrebko sing a ravishing “Casta Diva” and cabaletta via You Tube. A great Norma is much more than that aria. Norma is a truly heroic character in a way that Lady Macbeth and Trovatore are not. Gelb was betting on Netrebko as always – just as he pleaded for a Netrebko Stuarda and Elisabetta in Devereux. Netrebko wisely demurred.

    I attended the opening night of the Devereux at the MET and Sondra triumphed yet again. She was greeted with a din of applause. Her huge spinto voice was capable of ravishing pianissimi; and, not only was her coloratura fluent, she decorated beautifully as well. To hear a voice of this size sing bel canto so commandingly, one must harken back to Sutherland, of course, but temperamentally she is far more akin to Callas and Gencer.

    Gelb has just come around to admiring Radvanovsky while legions of fans have known of her virtues for years. And kudos, at last, to The New York Times, for finally giving her the kind of raves that she so justly deserves. I think fate surely must have had a hand in bringing this all back home to the great Radvanosky! Brava, Sondra!

  • Una says:

    I too saw the Met relay here in England of Robert Devereux, and it was stunning. In a totally different league of Lucia di Lammermoor that we had to endure from Covent Garden over here a week later!

    Amazing how you can have three different nationalities when it comes to opera!!!

  • Constantine A. Papas says:

    Is Netrebko slowly distancing her association with the Met/? She has been on HDs every year since they started- one year twice- but not in 2017-2018. She’ll sing Tosca in the second run. This is her only engagement for the upcoming season. Maybe it’s pay back time for Gelp. The 2005 Decker production of La Traviata was brought to the Met for Netrebko but she dropped out, stating that that she will not sing Violetta again. She’s singing Violetta at La Scala next month. She canceled Norma she was scheduled sing opening night at the Met in 2017. BTW, she opens La Scala’s next season with Andrea Chenier. Maybe Netrebko wants to sing more in Europe where she makes more money, sometimes twice as much as she makes at the Met. Gelp now gives all opportunities to Yoncheva, Netrebko’s replacement?