Yet another high-profile singer has pulled out of a Royal Opera House production. Elina Garanca, the glamorous Latvian mezzo whose performance in the company's recent revival of Cosi fan tutte won high plaudits all round, will not be singing the role of the Composer in the June 2008 revival of Ariadne auf Naxos. She will be replaced by Kristine Jepson, the American mezzo who had also previously sung Dorabella for the company and who will sing Nicklausse in a November 2008 revival of Les contes d'Hoffmann at Covent Garden.
The full press release reads:
'Latvian mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca has withdrawn from her role debut with The Royal Opera as The Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos. After careful consideration, she has decided not to add this role to her repertory.
'The role of The Composer will now be sung by American mezzo-soprano Kristine Jepson. She made her debut at the Royal Opera House in September 2004 as Dorabella (Cosė fan tutte) and has previously sung the role of The Composer in Dresden and at Teatro alla Scala in Milan. Recent roles include Kitty Oppenheimer (Doctor Atomic) in San Francisco and Amsterdam, Sister Helen Prejean in Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking in San Francisco and Vienna and Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier) in Dresden.
'The rest of the cast remains unchanged with Deborah Voigt as Ariadne/Prima Donna, Robert D. Smith and Richard Margison sharing the role of Tenor/Bacchus and Gillian Keith as Zerbinetta. Mark Elder conducts all performances.'
The withdrawal of Garanca follows on from the previously announced departure of Bryn Terfel from the Ring Cycle due to family issues and Rolando Villazon from a new production of L'elisir d'amore because of ill heath and vocal difficulties.