Bayreuth wants to sue Alagna for late withdrawal

The French tenor Roberto Alagna pulled out of this summer’s Lohengrin a few days before the beginning of rehearsal, saying that, in a crowded diary, he hadn’t had the time to study the role.

Today, Katharina Wagner will be seeing lawyers to discuss legal remedies.

Alagna’s possible defence? He was talked into the role by the Katie-CT team against his better judgement, never having sung a major German role before. He was originally cast opposite Anna Netrebko, who pulled out a year ago. Bayreuth should have known the risk it was taking.

Unlike Levine vs the Met, this will never come to court.


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  • Imagine the sheer hubris and fraud if Alagna and Netrebko’s Lohengrin and Elsa, respectively, had come to pass. Why did Bayreuth consider hiring two German language illiterates to sing there to begin with?

  • Personally, I don’t buy Alagna’s story for a second.
    He must have signed up for this Lohengrin quite a while ago, and would thus have had a good amount of time to learn the role, German language and all.
    It is odd that he canceled so close to the beginning of rehearsals.

  • Poor, poor Alagna, so weak willed that intendants just walk all over him like a vulgar carpet! Seriously, a top tier 55 year old pro with over 25 years career gets bullied around by intendants with whom he has no connection and for whom he has never sung?

    • EXACTLY! It is very simple: Alagna has absolutely nothing other than lame excuses and b***s**t to say for himself in this sad episode. That’s all!

  • There are so many roles in French and Italian which he sings so well. Who ever decided to ask him to do Lohengrin cannot be in his ( or her) right mind. Singers need to know the languages they sing in!

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