Friday, March 31, 2006

Not since Ponselle?

The wonderful Karita Mattila isn't singing tomorrow's Met matinee - and thus broadcast - of Fidelio; instead, her cover, Erika Sunnegardh is singing. She is 40 and making her Met debut (!); she's also under contract to cover Mattila's Elsa, and she's taking part of a run of Turandot a season or so down the road. I'm rather astonished to find this in the Times article about tomorrow; the quotation is from Joe Volpe's not-yet-published memoir:

"Not since Rosa Ponselle's debut in 1918, opposite Caruso in 'La Forza del Destino,' has the Met given an unknown singer such an opportunity," Mr. Volpe wrote.

I guess that's about her upcoming starring role and the covers, but I wonder how that plays in the context of Astrid Varnay's 1941 debut, covering Sieglinde for an indisposed Lotte Lehmann, followed by singing Bruennhilde the following week covering for Helen Traubel.

No comments: