So how was Anna Netrebko’s stand-in?

So how was Anna Netrebko’s stand-in?


norman lebrecht

October 02, 2019

One of our New York readers was delighted to buy a cut-price ticket to the Met’s much-deputised Verdi Macbeth, only to discover that he had bought for the night Anna Netrebko was being replaced by Anna Pirozzi.

Well, one Anna’s as good as the next, right?

Here’s what he reports:

Anna P matched Anna N with a depth and warmth that belted above and beyond any other soprano singing at the Met in recent history. Of course Netrebko is unsurpassed in her amazing ability to cut through everyone else in terms of delivering a clear and direct line of acting and drama that cuts through all the B.S., but this Met debutante (Pirozzi) can rise above the orchestra vocally with such skill that I haven’t heard in a while at that hall…. especially with singers making their debut as was the case tonight. Zeljko Lucic, Abdrazakov, and Polenzani all continued to shine as the Met’s star men…. but I wouldn’t be surprised if we heard more from Pirozzi in future seasons… Maybe.


Anna P announced: ‘My day has come! Tonight at 7:30pm… kisses to everyone!’


  • Edward says:

    She was a wonderful Leonora in Trovatore at ROH a few years ago.

  • John says:

    I am surprised Netrebko cancelled. I have a few friends in Vienna who often remark that Netrebko has vocal chords of steel.
    They report that she has sung even while sick.

  • Olassus says:

    Anna Pirozzi was a formidable and sensitive Abigaille this past February, which would suggest she can do wonders as Lady Macbeth.

    But she needs to get picky about her repertory, and soon, if she’s not to be pigeon-holed in these voice-destroying roles. In other words, drop Abigaille and Lady M and parlay her gifts into better assignments.

    She is a natural for the Met. This doesn’t mean she should sign up with some London or New York agency!

  • ketzel says:

    Pirozzi wasn’t a stand-in, she was scheduled all along.

  • Yet another David says:

    Pirozzi had a wildly successful run of appearances in La Giocond at the Liceu this spring. New York should be so lucky as to hear more of her.

  • Jay Bee says:

    Pirozzi’s singing is far superior to Netrebko’s… She doesn’t darken her sound unnaturally like the latter, and her coloratura is much more fluid. The chest voice sounds much more natural as well.

  • Bruce says:

    The second cast (at any opera house) can often hold pleasant surprises. In 1983 or ’84 — the only time I ever went to the Met — it was to see Rinaldo. Marilyn Horne was the big star, but the second-cast lead singer was Ewa Podles. I hadn’t heard of Podles before, but I sure knew who she was after that!

  • M McAlpine says:

    ‘Stand-in’ in theatrical terms means ‘someone employed to occupy an actor’s place while lights and camera are readied’. Obviously this lady was not a ‘stand-in’.

    • V.Lind says:

      That’s in cinematic terms. The first definition off google seemed as good as any other: a person who stands in for another, especially in a performance; a substitute.

      This was neither a substitute nor a replacement. Both the headline and the article are just wrong.

  • willymh says:

    I’m sure that the headline was a piece of click-bait entered by Russian bot as no one seriously reporting on the music scene would do something like that.

  • Edgar Self says:

    “Lucky, Bruce, to hear Ewa Podles sing anything.