The Royal Opera has announced the withdrawal of Deborah Voigt from the high-profile revival of Tosca, opening on 9 July. The American soprano has cancelled all her appearances as the title role of the opera due to 'acute colitis'.
In her stead, two oustanding Romanian-born sopranos will share the role of Floria Tosca: Angela Gheorghiu and Nelly Miricioiu.
Angela Gheorghiu returns to this production in the role that she created in 2006, when this staging with set designs by Paul Browan was first seen. With Bryn Terfel interpreting the role of Scarpia, Tosca's dream team will be reunited, as both artists featured in the original production. Gheorghiu will sing in the performances on 9, 14 and 16 July.
Gheorghiu is familiar to the Royal Opera stage, where she made her international debut in 1992 singing Zerlina in Don Giovanni and came to fame in the 1994 production of La traviata, which will be revived for her next season. Her first Tosca in a fully staged production was at Covent Garden in 2006.
However, the more intriguing part of the announcement is that in the other two performances of Tosca, on 11 and 18 July, the title role will be taken up by Nelly Miricioiu.
The British-Romanian soprano is in a very exciting phase of her career: continuing to renew her repertoire, she recently gave a London recital that was received by a wide and delighted audience. Moreover, in a recent interview with MusicalCriticism.com, she expressed her passionate commitment to her profession and her ambitions for the future: 'I'd love to go back to Covent Garden', she declared, showing fondness for the opera house in which she has been performing succesfully for more than twenty years.
Miricioiu made her debut with The Royal Opera in 1982 as Nedda (Pagliacci) and her other roles for the Company include Musetta (La bohème), Antonia (Les Contes d'Hoffmann), Marguerite (Faust), Valentine (Les Huguenots), Margherita/Elena (Mefistofele), the title role in Norma and Elizabetta (Roberto Devereux) in concert.
She has previously sung the role of Tosca at Covent Garden in 1996 and again in 2001 and 2004, and this is perhaps the part for which she is most acclaimed. That she has not performed at the Royal Opera House in five years makes this return all the more exciting and welcome.
The rest of the cast remains unchanged, with Marcello Giordani as Cavaradossi, Bryn Terfel as Scarpia and Martyn Hill as Spoletta. Jacques Lacombe will conduct this production directed by Jonathan Kent.
Nelly Miricioiu as Tosca at Covent Garden, 1996;
Angela Gheorghiu as Tosca with Bryn Terfel at Met Gala, 2005. Credits: Marty Sohl
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Interview: Renee Fleming on La traviata and her return to Covent Garden
Interview: Nelly Miricioiu in conversation about her career
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