US tenor in Vienna hospital with Covid

US tenor in Vienna hospital with Covid


norman lebrecht

February 08, 2021

The Russian soprano Ekaterina Siurina has given an update on the condition of her husband, the American tenor Charles Castronovo:

Charlie has been in the hospital in Vienna with coronavirus for a week now, but he’s getting better, we can’t put into words our experiences, but I’m glad he’s under constant supervision of doctors and on the mend! Before, I didn’t have the opportunity to inform everyone – it has been going on for 2,5 weeks and I want to take this opportunity to say – God bless everyone! Me and the kids are healthy and looking forward to a speedy recovery for Charlie! Take care of yourselves!



  • Anonymous Bosch says:

    Castronovo was scheduled to sing Don José in the new Calixto Bieito production of “Carmen” (new to Wien, that is) set to open (and be broadcast) on 01 March. The Carmen, Anita Rachvelishvili, was reported as suffering from COVID-19 in these pages a few days ago.

    I wish them quick recoveries and all the best. We can live a few more decades without a new “Carmen” – their health is more important.

    • Boris says:

      The “new” production of Carmen for Vienna is actually more than 20 years old, it was already performed literally everywhere in Spain, Germany, France etc
      It is a terrible production and makes one wonder why would anybody want this trash on yet another stage… It’s good there will be no audience, they would have left or would have boo-ed it.
      Absolutely agree with everything you write – health is the most important and people should take care of it!

  • zvi says:

    Such a great tenor! I wish him a speedy recovery.

  • Boris says:

    Meanwhile the Staatsoper is already back rehearsing for Carmen (the horrible Calixto Bieito production) – with Beczala instead of Castronovo.
    Seems too soon and completely irresponsible after a Covid cluster among the soloists and member of the chorus…
    Wishing Castronovo a speedy recovery and good health!

  • Günther Kraus says:

    What a horrible piece of news. I stand by what I said when these clusters at the Vienna State Opera were first reported: Shame on you Bogdan Roščić — Your ego and intentional ignorance of facts has lead to this poor man’s serious illness.

    • Vienna calling says:

      You are aware that artists are rehearsing in opera houses all over Gemany, Austria and Switzerland? They are postponing shows and there are not live streams, but Vienna is not the only opera house in the world with rehearsals.

      • BruceB says:

        I would venture to guess that Mr. Krauss is blaming Mr. Roščić for what is happening at the Vienna State Opera, not what is happening everywhere.

  • Eric says:

    Good health and a speedy recovery to both singers, but Calixto Bieito is the embodiment of eurotrash.

  • Zvi says:

    This is an already old production. I saw it 2 years ago in Paris. Trash as it is it was performed there something like 300 times.

    • Anonymous Bosch says:

      Zeffirelli’s 1978 production was shown 164 times at Wiener Staatsoper through the beginning of 2018/2019 season, where it began with Obrazstova and Domingo under Kleiber. We could use a new view of the work (in a house where the same dreary “Tosca” has been shown every season since 1958!).

      But please refrain from using the word “Eutrotrash” – or do you want a list of American stage directors whose sterling mediocrities have defamed the works in our houses, such as Peter Sellars, the Alden brothers, and Robert Wilson?

  • Anonymous Bosch says:

    Unfortunately, this broadcast announced by the ORF shall not take place as scheduled for 21 February:

    Aus der Wiener Staatsoper – Georges Bizet: “Carmen”
    Mit Anita Rachvelishvili (Carmen), Charles Castronovo (Don José), Erwin Schrott (Escamillo), Olga Kulchynska (Micaela), Slavka Zamecnikova (Frasquita), Szilvia Vörös (Mercedes), Peter Kellner (Zuniga), Stefan Astakhov (Morales), Carlos Osuna (Remendado), Michael Rakotoarivony (Dancaire)
    Chor und Orchester der Wiener Wiener Staatsoper; Dirigent: Andres Orozco-Estrada.
    (Aufgenommen am 21 . Februar 2021 in der Wiener Staatsoper in 5.1 Surround Sound)

    Meanwhile, the ORF is struggling to fill programming for its “Samstagabend am Oper” with old Met broadcasts (the 1956 Callas “Lucia”, a “Barbiere” with DiDonato and Brownlee from more than a decade ago; “La rondine” from 2009 before the Bonnie and Clyde of opera went their separate ways), and Swedish radio broadcasts from the 1950s with Björling and Gedda. They haven’t gotten around to replacing the now-cancelled Osterfestspiele Salzburg “Turandot” broadcast with Anna What’s-Her-Name (to what extent will she go to avoid this role?).

    Also doubtful is a Staatsoper “new” “Traviata” set for the first week of March with NO Alfredo (a new directorial concept?).

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    The Austrian health system is second to none. He’ll be in safe hands.

    Just one thought about that country, though; they’re big smokers (I’ve lived there) and this puts them at a critical vulnerability with respect to Covid-19, which attacks the lungs. Staying ‘safe’ means not just social distancing but taking care to avoid smoking, increasing weight, diabetes and other compromising medical problems. This was confirmed only recently by my own physician and friend.

  • Duane says:

    Sad to hear this news! Charles is an outstanding singing actor, and very talented, with a winning, generous personality! Wishing Mr. Castronovo, a good recovery, with no lingering problems, from COVID-19!