Natalie Dessay was forced to cancel, even mid-performance, performances of La Traviata at the Metropolitan Opera last month, where she was replaced by soprano Hei-Kyung Hong. The conductor was Fabio Luisi, the Italian maestro heavily tipped to take over from the ailing James Levine.
Now at Milan’s Teatro alla Scala she has withdrawn from performances of Manon which she was due to sing in a month’s time. Once again the conductor was Luisi. La Scala cites “health reasons” for the cancellation.
The management at La Scala have obviously been hard at it on the phone, and have succeeded in securing Anna Netrebko for the opening performances.
When the 47-year-old Dessay withdrew from the Met performances it was stated that she was suffering from a cold.