Ms. Netrebko has made a public statement posted on her official website. "This was an incredibly difficult decision for me; it was made on a very personal level with a great deal of pain and conflicting emotions." said Netrebko.
Ms. Netrebko and Mr. Calleja only made their intentions known last week, days before the begin of the tour. In a statement, the Met said, "Ms. Netrebko changed her mind because of the emotional weight of having also lived through the tragedy of Chernobyl." Mr. Calleja "also had last-minute misgivings", the Met said.
James Levine, due to health issues, and Jonas Kaufmann also dropped out of the tour some weeks ago.
Barbara Frittoli, who sings the role of Elisabeth in Verdi's "Don Carlos", will substitute Ms. Netrebko as Mimi in Puccini's "La Bohème". Marina Poplavskaya will join the tour to sing Elisabeth, a role she filled during the season in New York.
The Met contacted the tenors Marcelo Álvarez, Rolando Villazón and Alexey Dolgov, and they agreed to fill in for performances by Mr. Calleja. Mr. Alvarez will sing the role of Rodolfo in two performances of Puccini's "La Bohème" and Mr. Alvarez and Mr.Villazón will each sing the role of Edgardo in one performance of Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor". Piotr Beczala already was taking turns in both roles.