The troubled Sussex festival announced this morning that the US mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong has withdrawn from the title role in the new production of Handel’s Rinaldo ‘for personal reasons’.
Ours not to reason why.
What is remarkable is that the festival has replaced her with another member of cast, the Polish countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński, who was due to sing Eustazio. (That role will now be taken by the US American countertenor Patrick Terry, a member of ovent Garden’s Jette Parker Young Artists Programme.
Like for like?
Not really. Handel was not definitive whether this role – like Julius Caesar and others – was gender-specific. His casting was impetuous.
Orlinski is certainly eye-catching and hot news. Makes you wonder all the more about those ‘personal reasons’.