Bulgarian soprano Sonya Yoncheva has stepped in to replace Anna Netrebko in Royal Opera House’s (ROH) new production of Norma. Netrebko pulled out of the performances last week, citing changes in her voice since she signed up to the role four years ago.
Yoncheva has had to cut her scheduled appearance as Mimì in La Bohème at Metropolitan Opera, with the Met replacing her with Ailyn Pérez.
‘A huge thank you to the Met for releasing the brilliant soprano Sonya Yoncheva,’ said ROH director of opera Kasper Holten. ‘[Yoncheva] has had much success at the ROH in recent Seasons and we look forward to welcoming her back in the autumn for Norma and as Antonia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann.’
This is the second time Yoncheva has replaced Netrebko, with the 34-year-old playing Marguerite in Faust back in 2014 after Netrebko unexpectedly withdrew. Yoncheva has also performed as Musetta (La bohème), Violetta Valéry (La traviata) and Micaëla (Carmen) with the company. Other recent roles include Desdemona in Otello for the Met and Violetta Valéry in La traviata for Berlin State Opera.
Norma opens on 26 September and is conducted by ROH music director Antonio Pappano.