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Lyric Opera tells her to stay absent

September 29, 2007|Chris Pasles

Lyric Opera of Chicago has fired Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu from its upcoming production of Puccini's "La Bohème" for unwarranted absences from rehearsals.

"Miss Gheorghiu has missed six of 10 rehearsals, including the piano dress rehearsal and both staging rehearsals with the orchestra," company general director William Mason said Friday. "She missed one of the most critical stage-orchestra rehearsals when she left for New York without permission," Mason said. In addition, she reportedly refused to attend fittings for costumes that she had demanded.

Gheorghiu, who sang in recital in Los Angeles in March and previously appeared with her husband, tenor Roberto Alagna, in Los Angeles Opera's "Bohème" and "Pagliacci," was scheduled to make her Lyric Opera debut Monday and sing five additional performances.

She will be replaced by her understudy, Cuban American soprano Elaine Alvarez, a former resident artist in Marilyn Horne's program at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara.

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-- Chris Pasles

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