Thursday, February 5, 2009

Breaking News - Rolando Villazón withdraws from all performances of Iolantha in Baden-Baden

Reluctantly, Mexican tenor Rolando Villazón has withdrawn from the 2009 summer opera production “Jolanthe”. Three performances in the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden will be affected - 18th, 21st and 24th of July. Russian soprano Anna Netrebko will sing the title role in the Tchaikovsky opera as planned, alongside a tenor yet to be announced, and Valery Gergiev will take charge of the musical direction.

Villazón does, however, does offer some consolation to the Baden-Baden audience by agreeing to a third concert performance of the opera “Werther” by Jules Massenet on the 14th of June 2009 in the Festspielhaus, alongside Elina Garanca. The first two performances on the 7th and 10th of June 2009 have already sold out.

The Festspielhaus Baden-Baden is offering a full refund to patrons who have already purchased tickets to “Jolanthe” should they decide not to attend. However, Artistic and Managing Director Andreas Mölich-Zebhauser believes that “many opera lovers will come to Baden-Baden to see Anna Netrebko, Valery Gergiev and the St. Petersburg Marrinsky Theatre Ensemble, and will forgive Rolando his withdrawal”.

Villazón explained his decision in a letter to the Baden-Baden Artistic and Managing Director, stating: “In the past weeks I have undertaken detailed preparation for “Jolanthe”. After studying the music in great detail I have regrettably come to the conclusion that the role of Count Vaudemont does not conform to the repertoire on which I need to concentrate in the near future. He further went on to write: “I am sure you know how important it is for singers to feel completely at ease in their roles. For this reason, and following careful deliberation, I have taken the decision not to include this role in my repertoire, and it is therefore with a heavy heart that I have to withdraw from this production.”

Opera by Jules Massenet
Elina Garanca (Charlotte), Rolando Villazón (Werther)
Sunday, 7th June 2009, 6pm (sold out)
Wednesday, 10th June 2009, 8pm (sold out)
NEW: Sunday, 14th June 2009, 6pm

“Aleko” / “Jolanthe”
Operas by Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky
Anna Netrebko (Jolanthe), John Relyea (Aleko), Valery Gergiev (Conductor)
Mariinsky Theatre St. Petersburg Orchestra, Choir and Ensemble
Saturday, 18th July 2009, 7pm
Tuesday, 21st July 2009, 7pm
Friday, 24th July 2009, 7pm
Monday, 27th July, 7pm

Further information: 07221 / 30 13 101


  1. To offer a full refund because the withdraw of one of the scheduled artists is a very rare measure, as far as I know. My support to the Festspielhaus for taking this position.

    I have tickets for the performance on 18. Jul and, as far as Anna Netrebko is still singing the title role of Iolantha, I will attend the performance.

    DG had planned to release a dvd from those peformances. Hopefully they will not change of mind. Who could be the replacement for Rolando? Someone with a contract with DG, probably... Any idea?

  2. There are not so many tenors at Deutsche Grammophon. Scrolling down the list, I stopped at "D" - Placido Domingo...... (please don't let it be Ramon Vargas, although he replaced Rolando at the Baden-Baden Gala in 2007)



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