San Francisco Opera today announced prominent British mezzo-soprano Alice Coote will now star as Charlotte opposite celebrated Mexican tenor Ramón Vargas in next season’s new production of Jules Massenet’s French opera, Werther. Ms. Coote replaces previously announced Latvian mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca, who was to have made her Company debut but cited personal reasons for her withdrawal from the San Francisco Opera engagement.

Elina has performed live for the worldwide broadcasts by the Met recently in the title roles for La Cenerentola and Carmen, the latter with Roberto Alagna.

I think I’d rather make something rather than cite personal reasons. The minute someone says ‐ or writes — “personal reasons” I think readers play the guessing game about the why of it all. (I mostly worry about someone’s health.)

Or is that just my problem?

Of course if one says, “Scheduling Conflict” we think, “How stupid can his/her manager be?”

Guess it’s a lose-lose, eh?

I went to San Francisco Opera’s Werther page and the change isn’t mentioned there, but Alice Coote’s name is already up. IIRC, I missed her in something this past season, so I’ll happily hear her next year! I can’t remember what she was supposed to sing, but I seem to recall she was ill.

Gee … illness. It does strike, doesn’t it? As in right now for yours truly. I have some sort of a cold. And I’m not happy about it. But chicken soup is heating up, so I’m about to have at it. (My first real meal of the day, actually; when I feel crummy I don’t like to eat much.)


  1. Pingback: Oops! at oboeinsight

  2. I believe Coote sang Idomeneo at SFO, but she was ill for a few performances (and replaced by Daniela Mack, I believe).

  3. Ah, maybe that’s it! I know she was ill or something, and I was disappointed to not hear her. I had heard her Hansel on the January 1 live broadcast (2008 maybe?) and really enjoyed her.