Natalie Dessay: Leaves opera mid-way

Tuesday April 24, 2012

NEW YORK -- Natalie Dessay needed a relief soprano at the Metropolitan Opera.

After struggling through the first act of Verdi's "La Traviata" on Saturday night, Dessay was replaced by Hei-Kyung Hong for the final two acts.

The 47-year-old Dessay cut short some notes, swallowed others and didn't attempt the unwritten E-flat often sung at the end of "Sempre libera."

The Met said Dessay was still bothered by the cold that caused her to miss the opening performance of the revival on April 6 and be replaced then by Hong. Dessay had returned to sing three performances before Saturday, including one simulcast to theaters around the world on April 14.

There are three performances remaining in the run. -- The Associated Press


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