Netrebko blames her cold on Salzburg air-con

Netrebko blames her cold on Salzburg air-con


norman lebrecht

August 01, 2019

The diva has explained her last-minute absence from last night’s Adriana Lecouvreur:


Her substitute was Hui He, a Chinese soprano presently at Verona. How did she do? Brilliantly, says this Italian site.

Rough translation:

Hui He was in Verona yesterday morning, rehearsing Tosca which she will sing at the Arena on August 23 and 29. During a rehearsal break, she received a call asking if she could replace Netrebko in Cilea’s opera that evening. Hui He accepted, ran home with her pianist, Cristina Orsolato, and studied the role for two hours, having recently sung it for the first time. After that she ate an egg, put a concert dress in her suitcase and went to Villafranca Airport where a private plane was waiting for her, made available by the Festival. Arriving at the Grosses Festspielhaus, she met Maestro Marco Armiliato and did a brief test with him, put on make-up and went on stage. The reception for Hui He at the end of the work was enthusiastic with numerous acclamations and calls to the fore. 



  • Mike Schachter says:

    Thankfully there seems to be a large reserve of excellent singers available. Not an easy role.

  • PShi says:

    Ms. He is a Chinese

  • London Cellist says:

    There really couldn’t be a more unfortunate name for a singer replacing a Russian colleague!

    • Novageio says:

      London Cellist: Well, yes infact; portuguese athlete and triple jumper Patrícia Mamona won the European Championships in Barcelona 2010 – an ufortunate name in Spain too…

  • Pedro says:

    She is very good. I remember an excellent Aida at the Vienna State Opera a few years ago. Mehta was conducting.

  • Gustavo says:

    But wait, isn’t Anna supposed to do Elsa under Thielemann in Bayreuth? August 14 & 18?

    Now we know why there is no air-con in Bayreuth.

  • Vlad says:

    I’m glad Hui He got to step in. If Netrebko is going to blame her incompetence on air con then she can go away

  • John Kelly says:

    I didn’t go to medical school, as my doctor occasionally likes to remind me, but I believe the common cold is a virus, and nothing to do with air conditioning….

  • Peter says:

    At least Hui He “ate an egg” before putting her dress in the suitcase, good to know this crucial info :))
    As for Ms Netrebko, colds can happen to everyone, be it in summer or in winter time, it is not the end of the world. Sadly not sure she could have recovered by tomorrow and also sadly I do not see her taking on the role of Elsa again, would be a mistake in my opinion… but we’ll see! Cheers