What do you do when your lead soprano cancels your production?
You cancel the show and put on a concert of excerpts.
That is exactly what the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, did when soprano Kristin Lewis, singing the role of Elisabetta, was taken to the hospital a few hours before the performance. Since the company did not have another singer covering her (Lewis had already replaced Krassimira Stoyanova, who was originally scheduled to lead the production), ROH decided that it would put on a 90-minute concert performance of the opera and refund all its ticketholders.
The cast performed excerpts from Acts 1 and 2 in front of the curtain before appearing for a fully staged rendering of Act 3. Throughout, conductor Bertrand de Billy called out the corresponding numbers to the orchestra. The performance did not feature any excerpts from the fourth or fifth act of the opera.
According to reports, this was a first for the Royal Opera House.
This was the final performance of the season and starred Bryan Hymel in the title role, Christoph Pohl as Rodrigo, Ekaterina Semenchuk as Eboli, and Ildar Abdrazakov as Filippo.
***A previous version of this article stated that Ludovic Tezier was Rodrigo. He had been replaced by Pohl prior to the start of the run.