Tired of trying to project enough power to reach the deeper regions of the cavernous opera house last night, Angela Gheorghiu will rest her tonsils tomorrow night and Violetta, as scheduled, will be Irina Lungu. La Gheorghiu -- who, as we have already written, has to thank the heavens that Maestro Maazel sucked so bad that he distracted the loggionisti from Angela's limitations and took by far the most part of the boos -- la Gheorghiu is supposed to be back on stage Saturday night, at 8PM sharp, hair and makeup and costume ready. Possibly. But more of that later.
Anyway: Angela's understudy (the third soprano booked for this already unfortunate production is Elena Mosuc) has already appeared at la Scala in 2004 and she rawked Rome this past April with her Violetta. She's been apparently so good during rehersals that Irina really surprised many people around Scala, we have been told, with fine acting, clear diction, good power and a beautiful intonazione -- a tasty 27-year old brunette from Moldova, she is 15 years younger than Angela (or even 17, if you listen to the gossip that indicates a little of creative PR tinkering with Gheorghiu's actual birthdate.
She is scheduled to appear alongside Ramon Vargas (again) and Germont pére will be the awesome Leo Nucci, replacing last night's Roberto Frontali, a seasoned pro who has all of Opera Chic rezpect but whose baritone, last night, came across as simply too flat -- on the stony side especially when more warmth was needed, for example in "Di Provenza" -- and we really hope it was simply a bit of fatigue.