Met loses its Aida

Met loses its Aida


norman lebrecht

December 06, 2022

The Metropolitan Opera has been forced to replace Latonia Moore in the title tole of Verdi’s Aida after just two performances.

Moore, it says, ‘has withdrawn due to illness.’

Jumping in for the rest of the run, up to January 7, is Michelle Bradley.

Bradley (pictured), who’s from Versailles, Kentucky, is a former Lindemann Young Artist who has been singing Carmelites in San Francisco and is booked for Aida shortly in Fort Worth.

Zachary Woolfe’s NY Times review of Moore read: ‘Most worrying, despite some effusive high notes and a sympathetic presence, the soprano Latonia Moore sounded ragged in the title role, her voice weakening by the ends of phrases, separated by big gulps of breath. “O patria mia,” Aida’s great Act III aria, was crooned and disjointed.’


  • A.L. says:

    Another example of a business model in tatters. Never mind that the woman couldn’t cope with the assignment. And this at the Met.

    • Jack says:

      AffirMETive action

      • The incredible Mr. Sarastro says:

        Rather than call you a racist, I’ll invite you and everyone else reading this thread to imagine forcing a black woman opera singer to carry on performing despite her illness, to completely obliterate her physical well-being, simply to prove to you two that she’s got what it takes. Imagine that scenario, and asks yourselves: “what does this say about me as a human being?”

        • J. C. Mackey says:

          Nobody is ever forced to sing in a sick state, especially at such hoses as the MET where there are tens if not hundreds of replacements ready to fill in.
          She was free to withdraw at any point. I’ll call greediness and lack of professionalism on Mrs. Moore. If you’re sick – you’re sick and don’t sing. If you sing while sick – don’t be surprised about bad reviews.

        • A.L. says:

          We don’t justify poor performance from anyone. It follows, then, that we don’t justify hers. Are we clear?

      • Give one strength says:

        As it happens, I don’t particularly like her Aida. But in what way, pray tell, was booking Latonia Moore an act affirmative action. Would you have preferred Robert Merrill to have sung it?

    • Peter Smith says:

      She was a pretty good Aida for ENO a few years ago.

    • DG says:

      Nonsense. I saw Latonia Moore’s Aida at the Met a few years ago (2019?) and she was fantastic. She’s sick now, as happens to all of us.

  • Antwerp Smerle says:

    NL, please could you tell us the names of people in the photos you post? I don’t know if that is Moore or Bradley. All that’s needed is “(pictured)”.

  • lamed says:

    Zachary Woolfe burned Latonia Moore pretty bad in his NYT review. You work all your life to get to Aida at the Met and you’re dismissed in a single paragraph:

    “Most worrying, despite some effusive high notes and a sympathetic presence, the soprano Latonia Moore sounded ragged in the title role, her voice weakening by the ends of phrases, separated by big gulps of breath. “O patria mia,” Aida’s great Act III aria, was crooned and disjointed.”

    If she wasn’t sick she sure got sick.

  • Frank says:

    “People who should be singing in church choirs are singing major roles. ” Attributed to June Anderson, 1990. And it has gotten worse since 1990. Used to be Met regular, but enough is enough.

  • Carl says:

    I don’t know about their backstage policies but in the auditorium, the Met has eliminated its mask mandate. Covid cases are quickly rising in NYC (up 65% in the past two weeks). Add flu to the mix and I bet there will be plenty more stars calling out sick in the cold weeks and months ahead.

  • AndrewB says:

    It can take time for a singer to return to vocal health after flu or infection. I hope that Latonia Moore is soon well again and back on form. She is a lovely, sensitive artiste. Her Cio Cio San just a couple of years ago was outstanding vocally and dramatically , as was her stunningly sung , show stopping Serena in Porgy and Bess.
    Aida is a tough sing for a soprano who is healthy , just take a look at what is required of the soprano in Act 3, let alone one who is feeling unwell.
    Let’s wish Miss Bradley every success as she takes over the role . What a challenging vocal switch of repertoire from Carmelites to Aida!

  • We privatize your value says:

    Miss Bradley already looks like Aida, God still works in mysterious ways.

  • Tony R says:

    Wow, such vitriol here. Maybe the voice is having issues. Moore said herself that she has been struggling after two difficult C-sections. Add to that, there might be some upper respiratory issues that impeded her singing. But let’s not pretend that her voice hasn’t been amazing in the past. After all, she just sang Aida at LA Opera and by most accounts, was spectacular.

    Oh, and to the moron who decided that to make this a racial/political statement with your affirmative action nonsense…have a seat and let the grown ups talk.

  • Harpist says:

    I have seen it on 12/13 and quite frankly it was awful. Soprano had occasional troubles getting her high notes, Mezzo was consistently off key, tenor was uninspired and boring, baritone had to yell his more dramatic outbreaks, conduction also boring. Awful acting, no drama. First time since many years that we left early. Reminded me of Volpe’s disasters.
    Listened to the legendary Mexican City recording from 1951 on way home (Callas, Del Monaco) and it was like a different opera…

  • Fritz Grantler says:

    People still go to the Met ? I spend my time listening to vinyl and Cds – why spend money on third-rate singers and idiotic productions …