Anna Netrebko Reveals Why She Canceled ‘Norma’ At ROH & Metropolitan Opera

Phot by Kirk Edwards

It was one of the most talked about events last year as Anna Netrebko canceled a highly anticipated role debut, “Norma” at the Royal Opera House and the Metropolitan Opera.

The reasoning behind it was that her voice had changed and it “had evolved in a different direction.” However, in a new interview with the Times U.K, the soprano finally revealed the real reason for it.

“I looked at the score. Honestly — I couldn’t even finish listening to the opera. I’m being honest with you. It’s so uninteresting for me. I don’t like the music. I don’t like the character. I tried, really, because this project was very important. But in the end I said, ‘I can’t, my heart is not there.’ And if it’s not there I can’t do anything special with it, and that’s the main reason I pulled out,” she said.

Netrebko also revealed that she would not bare all for her upcoming production of Strauss’ “Salome” at the Metropolitan Opera but she did say that it would be directed by Claus Guth and that it was very interesting.

Netrebko also spoke about her political controversies that saw the public boo her during the Met’s opening night gala in 2013 and said that she was done being political and holding flags.

She will next appear at the Paris National Opera in Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin” for which she recently garnered rave reviews at the Metropolitan Opera.

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About the Author

Francisco Salazar
FRANCISCO SALAZAR, (Publisher) worked as a reporter for Latin Post where he has had the privilege of interviewing numerous opera stars including Anita Rachvelshvili and Ailyn Perez. He also worked as an entertainment reporter where he covered the New York and Tribeca Film Festivals and interviewed many celebrities such as Antonio Banderas, Edgar Ramirez and Benedict Cumberbatch. He currently freelances for Remezcla. He holds a Masters in Media Management from the New School and a Bachelor's in Film Production and Italian studies from Hofstra University.

5 Comments on "Anna Netrebko Reveals Why She Canceled ‘Norma’ At ROH & Metropolitan Opera"

  1. Kathryn Ryder | May 8, 2017 at 8:36 pm | Reply

    We all knew she would attempt Salome eventually … surely Thais awaits her as well.

    But I find her Norma remarks puzzling …I assume what she is really saying is “It is too difficult for me but my PR person told me to say I do not connect to the character even though when I was interviewed regarding my role in Eugene Onegin, I said “Tatiana is nothing like me, we are totally different”. The coloratura in Norma is less than in the role of Leonora in Il Trovatore or Lady Macbeth, so it should not be beyond her. The high D and Eb are optional in Norma, so what is really going on???

    • It’s not about technique at all, Kathryn. I’m sure Anna said it as it was: she was simply uninterested in that particular opera. It’s not the only opera she said she doesn’t want to sing although she can; Madama Butterfly is another example she’s been mentioning for years in this context.

  2. Martine from Dallas | May 8, 2017 at 10:49 pm | Reply

    Sorry. But that sounds like a cop out.

  3. Bryan Moore | May 9, 2017 at 2:34 pm | Reply

    OK, that’s fair enough. But that sort of decision needs to be made earlier when the commitment has to be made to the opera house and the public and not at the last minute when arrangements have been made by the management and by many fans who have arranged flights and accommodation to see her. I found this very disappointing and it can’t be done too often before attracting and deserving a reputation of unreliability.

  4. Whilst clearly her reasons are disingenuous, she has done everyone a favour. Her technique is absolutely not up to the standards of the bel canto repertoire, let alone the Everest of that art form. At best she would have been compelling on stage, but the score would have been mutilated. As undoubtedly the biggest star in the soprano firmament right now, she was wise to drop it. A poor performance in this role would have seen her castigated, as was the case with so many other famous and gifted sopranos who took it on and were found wanting. She has discovered her true metier now and she’s damn good at it. The last thing we need is yet another dire Norma, especially when she is an astonishing Lady M. Horses for courses – greatness comes in packages, which doesn’t mean you can sing anything and everything, no matter what Caballé said!

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