Aretha Franklin Cancels Washington National Opera Gala

By Francisco Salazar

Aretha Franklin has canceled the Washington National Opera Gala.

Franklin was unable to travel due to doctor’s orders and said, “I very much regret not being able to attend and perform at the Washington National Opera Gala. I send my very best wishes for a successful and beautiful evening.”

As a result, Cynthia Erivo, the Tony-winning star of Broadway’s “The Color Purple,” will now perform at the 2017 WNO Opera Gala, “Trading Voices.” Erivo will perform the songs that Ms. Franklin was scheduled to perform, including the finale of “Nessun Dorma” from Puccini’s “Turandot.”

The gala will see “Hamilton” star Jordan Donica, soprano Renée Fleming, superstar mezzo-soprano and D.C. native Denyce Graves, former WNO Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist and local favorite bass Soloman Howard, Tony Award winner and Broadway luminary Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Hamilton Tony Award winner Leslie Odom Jr.

The WNO Orchestra and Chorus will be conducted by WNO Music Director Philippe Auguin and Steven Mercurio. The gala will celebrate WNO Board Chairman Jacqueline Badger Mars on Saturday, June 3, 2017, at the Kennedy Center Opera House.