- The lovely and reliable Hei-Kyung Hong replaces Angela Gheorghiu, who is ill (we're told), in all upcoming Met performances of Rome et Juliette.
- Marina Poplavskaya replaces Angela Gheorghiu in the initial run of next season's new production of Faust. Gheorghiu has withdrawn for "artistic reasons." (Poplavskaya was already scheduled for the second run of performances.)
- Show of hands: Does anyone believe Gheorghiu will turn up for her scheduled performances in Tosca at Covent Garden?
- Speaking of Covent Garden, they fired Micaela Carosi, who was an adequate, not-great, Aida this past fall in San Francisco.
- Alan Held replaces Matthias Goerne in all performances of Wozzeck; Goerne is having knee surgery. Sigh. This is the one that gets me. Held is an excellent singer and a fine Wozzeck, but Goerne is in a class of his own among currently-active baritones. I've seen him live only once, singing the solos in the Brahms Requiem, and it was like nothing I've heard before, either in person or on record from the greats. Where other baritones tend to go big in this music, he sang introspectively and intimately, and had enormous impact as a result. Also, stating the obvious: what a voice. He seems absolutely ideal for Wozzeck, given his intensity, which even in the Brahms nearly reached the wild-eyed.
- Pavel Smelkov replaces the jet-setting Valery Gergiev, who evidently wasn't up for conducting Boris at the Met while in the midst of a run of Ariadne in Russia. If you thought Levine's Wagner/Mahler weekend was more than a little crazy....
And speaking of James Levine, if you haven't read the insanely long comment thread at Parterre Box about him and Voigt (and, parenthetically, Terfel), you should. In general, you should be reading Parterre Box!