Cleopatra is the theme of Cecilia Bartoli’s first season as Artistic Director of the Salzburg Whitsun Festival, but one of her Cleopatras has fallen ill. Anna Netrebko, who was due to sing the première of “Cleopatra and the Serpent” by Rodion Shchedrin, as part of the concert “Cleopatra orientale” on 28 May is sick, and will be replaced by soprano Mojca Erdmann.
When Anna called me, consolation was called for, but also immediate replacement casting. My young colleague Mojca Erdmann is learning the piece in 2 days, ready for the world première.
It will not be Erdmann’s first appearance in Salzburg. In 2007 a critic wrote,
The surprise of the evening, however, was Mojca Erdmann. …young, slim, blond, sporty, she was Mozart’s “Zaide” last year here in Salzburg. Now she sings “Zelmira”, a strong personality, a beautiful, warm, technically perfect voice that is highly expressive. She deservedly received the greatest applause.
The day after Erdmann is scheduled to give a solo recital with works by Schubert and Strauss at the Musikverein in Vienna.
Photo: Mojca Erdmann