The American soprano Patricia Racette was cast as Madama Butterfly in tomorrow’s performance at Covent Garden, but she fell sick.
The conductor, Andris Nelsons, would have received the news with dismay. Then he called home.
Step in the Maestro’s fiancee, the Latvian soprano Kristīne Opolais, whom he first got to know as a chorus singer in the opera at Riga. The first two performances (June 25, 29) will mark her ROH debut. The rest of the run will be sung by Liping Zhang and Amarilli Nizza.
NEWS EXTRA: I hear from Birmingham, where Andris is music director of the CBSO, that he told the audience that he and Kristīne got married in Latvia on April 29. They are now genuinely Mr & rs Maestro. We wish them well.
What’s more, Andriss is the third CBSO music director in a row to have a soprano wife. His predecessor Sakari Oramo is married to Anu Komsi and Simon Rattle was married to Elise Ross and is now with Magdalena Kozena. Must be something in the Birmingham water.