Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Schedule Conflict?

Via Terry Teachout and the Santa Fe Opera web site comes word that Ning Liang will not be appearing in The Letter, an opera with music by Paul Moravec and libretto by Terry Teachout, because of "a scheduling conflict."
Color me doubtful. The production dates and cast were announced in the spring of 2008, and planned well before that. You can see Ning Liang's planned opera performance schedule in OperaBase. She has a good chunk of time alloted for The Letter.

Late withdrawals happen for a number of reasons:
  • Illness, such as the late Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's withdrawal from Doctor Atomic
  • Change in the role's requirements, per this press release about how Richard Paul Fink replaced Friedemann Roehlig in Doctor Atomic (Reading that press release now, one wonders about it.)
  • Unprepared artist. A tenor turned up in San Francisco a few years ago for Don Carlo without having learned the part in French. Hello? Didn't you and your agent read the contract?
  • Artistic differences/singer doesn't get along with director/singer hates role requirements/director doesn't like singer.
A scheduling conflict is hard to swallow. Opera contracts are negotiated years in advance, and while I've heard of singers withdrawing from one production because of a great opportunity elsewhere, what's going on that is more important than the premiere of a new opera?


Anonymous said...

Unprepared artist.In that category, one remembers the sad story of the tenor who was hired to sing Siegfried in Solti's Ring recording - the opportunity of a lifetime - and then never bothered to learn the part, figuring that he could wing it. Not next to Hans Hotter, you can't.

Lisa Hirsch said...

The notorious "Our Siegfried" - Ernst Kozub (mistakenly identified as Jess Thomas in at least one book, but it was really Kozub).

oboeinsight.com said...

Because of my old brain I can't remember who it was now, but I DO recall there was some artist who actually double-booked, the agent somehow making a major error in scheduling. So there IS that very unlikely possibility as well. Mistakes happen.

But yeah, it seems rather doubtful.

Will you be at the opera? I would love to hear about it. Heck, I'd love to hear it ... but income doesn't allow for that sort of travel.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Yes, this is my one music trip for the year. I shall report back.

Paul H. Muller said...

She doesn't like Mexican food?

Lisa Hirsch said...

Make that NEW Mexican food. :)