Just in: Vienna fires Italian for coming late

Just in: Vienna fires Italian for coming late


norman lebrecht

May 20, 2019

The international baritone Marco Vratogna is feeling aggrieved.

His manager claims that he has been written out of Friday’s big-screen broadcast of Andrea Chénier for turning up late for rehearsal.

The Vienna State Opera says he never turned up.

Both sides agree that Vratogna was given permission to miss the first two rehearsals for family reasons and ‘bad weather in Italy’.

He drove through the night to make the third rehearsal at 10am. When he hadn’t turned up by 11 the rehearsal was cancelled and Vratonga was replaced by his compatriot Luca Salsi, who had appeared in an earlier run.

The opera house says he turned up between  11.30 and 11.45.

Vratogna’s manager says he warned them he’d be late. And he got lost in the corridors, unable to find the rehearsal room.

The opera says they offered to reinstate him for the last two performances, after the broadcast. That didn’t go down well.

We hear reports of turbulence in the Sacher tea-cups.

UPDATE: Official Staatsoper statement:

Besetzungsänderung in “Andrea Chénier” an der Wiener Staatsoper
George Petean singt am 28. und 31. Mai 2019 den Carlo Gérard in “Andrea Chénier” anstelle von Marco Vratogna und gibt damit sein Rollendebüt an der Wiener Staatsoper. In den Aufführungen am heutigen Montag, 20. Mai, sowie am 24. Mai wird (wie bereits bekannt gegeben) Luca Salsi als Carlo Gérard zu erleben sein.



  • Grant says:

    Be not late in neither Austria nor Germany!

  • Helena says:

    This international baritone is Marco Vratogna (correct spelling in the Staatsoper statement) not Vratonga like it’s spelled four times in Mr. Lebrecht’s text.
    Whatever the reasons for being late, Mr. Vratogna (like everyone else) deserves to get his name spelled correctly, especially in a public forum like this blog.
    Haven’t heard Petean so I can’t say anything about him but Luca Salsi is a very good singer.

  • Dieter says:

    First world problems

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    He, along with so many, needs to join the ‘pity party’. I’m betting my house that if I had a gig with the Wiener Staatsoper that I’d be on time and eager.

  • Mike Schachter says:

    Austrians hate to be accused of schlamperei, as the Prussians were fond of doing.

  • Ruben Greenberg says:

    What about singers that come in late after rests? Should they also be fired? Think of the poor orchestra and conductor.