So how was it for Iulia? First review of the Met’s sub-prime Tosca

So how was it for Iulia? First review of the Met’s sub-prime Tosca


norman lebrecht

March 19, 2019

Apart from the last-minute substitute professor, the tenor was under the weather and the baritone was six months late.

First review here:

On Monday night, the Met went to its bench again, when Jennifer Rowley, set to lead a new cast of Tosca, fell ill.

Replacing her was Iulia Isaev, a Romanian soprano who was making her Met debut, despite having an established career. Given the circumstances, her performance on Monday was impressive: she displayed a warm, focused tone that was remarkably consistent throughout the night, save for a little tightness at the top, which forced her to cut short the climactic A in “Vissi d’arte.” Without much chance to rehearse, Isaev’s portrayal was generalized yet effective, sweeping majestically about the stage…

Joseph Calleja was announced as being under the weather, as well, and indeed there was clear evidence of phlegm on his top notes…

Read on here.





  • Viola da Bracchio says:

    Very often it’s the adrenalin and the Will To Win that carries us through on such occasions! Congrats to Iulia – she was her own Floria Tosca, and that’s more important than one note in Vissi d’Arte. It’s a punishing role, like Butterfly – that calls for loving lyricism alongside steely self-sacrificing determination at the end… with an allocation of three different top C’s (written!) along the way!

  • guest3 says:

    In Calleja’s case, you only heard it in the “Tosca” of ‘Recondita armonia’, the high B natural when Cavaradossi pledges to protect Angelotti, and the Vittoria of Act 2. Outside of those three, you wouldn’t know he was sick.

  • aj says:

    A tawdry work at best .No matter how you dress it,
    it still is cheap ,and all the drama surrounding it reeks
    with false Victorian morality of the times .