Two Singers Dropped From Production of ‘Lucia di Lammermoor’ at Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège

By Dejan Vukosavljevic

The General and Artistic Director of Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège Stefano Pace has announced that tenors Maxime Melnik and Zeno Popescu will no longer be appearing in the Stefano Mazzonis di Pralafera and Gianni Santucci’s production of Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor.”

Per the statement, two singers were dropped from the production because it was estimated that they did not satisfy the artistic criteria needed for the high level of performances. The singers were notified of the change five days before the opening night. Melnik was also dropped from a production of Rossini’s “Otello Ossia il Moro di Venezia” eight days before the start of rehearsals, where he was supposed to perform the role of Iago.

Melnik confirmed the news on his Facebook account. The changes come after the General Music Director of Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège Speranza Scappucci withdrew from the production due to surgery. Frédéric Degroote, the Director of the Festival Les Nuits de Septembre in Liège, called the decision “indecent and violent,” and said it would be interesting to hear how the theater will justify it.

The replacements for the two singers are yet to be announced. The opera will star Julien Behr as Sir Edgardo, Lionel Lhote as Lord Enrico Ashton, and Zuzana Marková in the title role. Renato Balsadonna conducts.

Run of “Lucia di Lammermoor” at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège is set to begin on Nov. 19, and will last through Nov. 30, 2021.