Sicklist: Vienna loses star

Sicklist: Vienna loses star


norman lebrecht

May 07, 2017

The Vienna State Opera have announced that Angela Gheorghiu is sick for tomorrow night’s live-streamed Tosca.

She will be replaced by Martina Serafin, an Austrian stalwart.

photo: VPO/Pöhn


  • John Groves says:


  • Tristan says:

    no regret, she is such an underpowered Tosca – was never first league. let’s hope for Netrebko, she could be good

    • Bray Grem says:

      There is no doubt that Netrebko has no breath control and choppy phrasing. She sings polished, lifeless, pseudo-Italian singing and pronunciation, and I don’t think she could be better than any of today’s star sopranos (perhaps except K. Opolais)

    • Bruce says:

      You may or may not have noticed that they already had a replacement lined up.

  • Theodore McGuiver says:

    Maybe Martina will enter on time…

  • ketzel says:

    I’m shocked no one has suggested Anna Pirozzi. Her Tosca is one of the best. I don’t know if she’s ready to go back to work after having a baby, but it’s really too bad that people don’t even think of her when a lesser singer needs a substitute.

  • Paul says:

    I was at the performance of Tosca in Vienna with Angela Gheorghiu, Jonas Kaufmann, and Eivind Gullberg Jensen making his Staatsoper debut, and Gheorghiu was fantastic. Perhaps a bit free and impulsive, if not a bit difficult to predict, but that can be interesting. She was breathtaking in act 2 and showed no signs of any illness coming on. That said however, the weather in Vienna has been “wechselhaft” or extremely variable since then with rain coming and going and temperatures rising and falling, and it would not surprise me that anyone would be getting sick here now.
    And by the way, the applause after Kaufmann’s act 3 aria was somewhere close to 5 or 6 minutes long, but maybe even longer (I completely lost track of time). It seemed like the audience was begging for a repeat of last year’s encore! And I wish someone had timed the applause at the end, because 15 or 20 minutes after I left the hall and came back, it was still going on! Tonight’s broadcast should be worth watching.

    • Alexander says:

      may I kindly ask you – are you from Vienna Opera’s PR team ? What could be more intriguing than to read that before the broadcast 😉
      P.S. I, personally, find Angie’s singing lovely , just for a case 😉

    • waltraud riegler says:

      From Die Presse: “Pointe an dieser Meldung könnte sein: Es gab eine Abmachung zwischen Gheorghiu und dem Tenor Jonas Kaufmann, dass er in der laufenden Serie der “Tosca” nicht – wie im Vorjahr – die Arie des Cavaradossi im dritten Akt der Oper wiederholen würde, wenn das Publikum danach verlangt.” In other words (perhaps from AG): “NO bis today, or….” Nevertheless the applause after Cavaradossi´s aria must have been like a thunderstorm.

      • Olassus says:

        Well, a bis after E lucevan le stelle ruins the flow, if not the whole act. JK knows better. In fact, any bis in Puccini is ridiculous.

        Another theory. JK worked with Serafin in Paris in January, possibly for the first time. Perhaps he suggested, as a favor to her, that AG, who has filmed Tosca several times, step aside to give the locally admired, less-known soprano more exposure. Serafin began her career at Mörbisch around the same time AG was singing Violetta for Solti. She just has never become a big star.

        • Ungeheuer says:

          And from what I have heard of her, will never reach stardom. Nothing in her sound or vocal quality that makes her stand apart from a thousand others. I am sure she nice to her colleagues, looks nice, is professional and shows up and all that. Just isn’t enough.

        • waltraud riegler says:

          JK and Serafin have worked together years ago in a Tosca, I think it was in Berlin.