Leading soprano withdraws at a month’s notice claiming that Margueritte is “not right” for her.

Leading Russian soprano Anna Netrebko has pulled out of playing the role of Marguerite in The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden’s upcoming production of Gounod’s Faustin April. This was to be the star soprano’s much-anticipated debut in the role.

“After much consideration and intensive preparation, I have come to the conclusion that the role is not right for me”, she said in a statement issued by her spokesperson. “I had been very much looking forward to debuting this role at the Royal Opera House and following it with further performances in Vienna and Baden-Baden. Unfortunately, I must now withdraw from all these productions.”

Considering her recent move into heavier territory (her Verdi heroines CD included Lady Macbeth and Elisabetta, while her latest stage role is Manon Lescaut in Rome), this will increase speculation that she no longer finds the lyric bel cantorepertoire conducive.

“I am so sorry to have to withdraw from the role of Marguerite , she said. “I am very sad to be disappointing my fans in these cities and hope they will understand the difficult decision that I have had to make. However,...