The Met finds room for Mr Netrebko

The Met finds room for Mr Netrebko


norman lebrecht

September 07, 2019

We’ve been hearing for months that the Met was trying to find a role for Yusif Eyvazov this season at some other singer’s expense.

Today it was confirmed that Netrebko’s husband will replace Aleksandrs Antonenko in three December performances of Queen of Spades. Antonenko will sing the first three shows of the run in November.

Eyvazov is otherwise due to appear with his wife in the Met’s New Year’s Gala.



  • Mustafa Kandan says:

    One must get use to the fact, if you want Netrebko then you will get Eyvazov as well. He is not too bad at least. In the past, if you wanted Joan Sutherland, you also got Richard Bonynge (who ended up conducting in very prestigious opera houses as a result).

    • Novagerio says:

      Except that Bonynge was the master coach and Bel-canto specialist who convinced and trimmed a wanna-be wagnerian soprano into one of the three ultimate Queens of the Bel-canto repertoire in the post-war years. Later, the coaching got more intensive (and propably cheaper) having married.

      Something almost similar was with Pavarotti and Domingo, who insisted on having conductor-choaches like Leone Magiera, Emerson Buckley and Eugen Kohn all over the world, wether it was the Met or the Vienna State Opera or Palm Beach Florida.

      But in the current events, if you want a Met career, you don’t even need to apply for the Richard Tucker foundation, even less sing an audition that will cost your annual income; all you have to do is become her next husband.

    • Ms.Melody says:

      “Not too bad” is the new standardof excellence for the once great Metropolitan opera house. Richard Bonynge is (was?) a serious musician and a good conductor who rescued Joan Sutherland from singing Wagner and recognized in her what became the greatest bel canto singer of the 20th century. And he conducted performances without her as well. Plenty of them are on the Met opera channel.

      • Saxon Broken says:

        “Not too bad” has always been the standard at the major opera houses. The Met does 25 productions a year; the leading singers only perform in one-or-two of them each. Someone has to sing in the other shows. It has always been thus.

  • Fernando says:

    Interesting, and in such a nice opera! If I were in NY, I would probably buy a ticket to see his portrayal of Herman.

  • Ms.Melody says:

    Just about anybody who can sing in Russian would be better than Antonenko. He was awful as Radames . His voice is in shambles. Germann is a very difficult role both vocally and dramatically and he had problems with it in the past.
    Why the Met engaged him again is a mystery.

    • Sophia says:

      Totally agree. His Radames was awful. A disgrace when the ladies were superb..

    • len says:

      Antonenko really is not upto what a tenor needs to be in this repertoire. He needs to go back to study some basics of technique before he sings in opera again.

  • Marshall says:

    The Met, Gelb-Antonenko has no business singing there any more. Give Eyvazov all of them.

  • DR. GRIMWOOD says:

    When will it stop? He is an appalling singer, C level at best, and yet major house hire him only because of his wife.

    • Yes Addison says:

      And yet, anyone who’s heard Antonenko in the past 3-4 years should be relieved. It’s sad what’s happened to Antonenko, who’s not even 45, but it isn’t pretty. Unless there’s been an improbable and miraculous vocal recovery, even Eyvazov will be an upgrade. Were I buying a ticket to one of these performances (which I’d mostly do for Davidsen, the rest of the excellent cast, and the opera itself), I’d go with him.

    • Marshall says:

      Please “appalling” , C level-what hyperbole. And what does that make Antonenko? Eyvazov in a world of no tenors, has a big, burly voice which is better than nothing in a house the size of the Met.

    • 32VA says:

      Tosh. The empty piffle of someone with no knowledge of opera whatsoever.

    • Nik says:

      He may be a C, but Antonenko is a Z. So not the worst deal in this particular case.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Really?… Eyvazov is a B+ singer (perhaps A- on a good day). He isn’t “one of the stars” but he is nevertheless very competent and someone who, just-about, could get semi-regular gigs at the major houses anyway. Sure, his wife has helped his career, but he is not a mediocre singer.

    • Pikovaya Dama says:

      Spot on! This situation is just ludicrous and needs to stop.

  • ines says:

    he married well
    otherwise, a voice for a minor, unheard of kind of opera (?) house

  • BrianB says:

    Believe it or not, that can only be a decided improvement.

  • Bruce says:

    Is this a result of being better in bed?

  • deborah says:

    Sadly that what we get from the price of one. The cheap and lousy other half.

  • Cantantelirico says:

    He is a very good man and has been a great support to her and her son.

    • Pikovaya Dama says:

      So what??? I am a great support to my opera singer husband, but that doesn’t make me capable of singing Wagner and Strauss alongside him on the main stages of the world. And that doesn’t apply only to non-musicians like me: it applies to third class singers like him just as well.

  • Jason S. says:

    I am glad for whatever reason that they put in Mr. Eyvazov in the three performances. I rather like his voice, but it is a very unique sound which some people do not like.
    Mr. Antonenko will surely come to grief in the role, if he does indeed show to sing the three shows the Met left him in.
    However, I disagree that Mr. Eyvazov has a career only because of Ms. Netrebko. He had an international career well before they were married.

  • Nancy Jaynes Gruett says:

    We heard them in a concert version of Adriana Lecouvreur last week at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. They both sang beautifully.

  • Tom Ponti says:

    A.A. was a near disaster in Aida and probably the Met needed someone as a back up if A A messed up again.’