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Opera stars, fearing radiation, cancel via The Japan Times

Two of the biggest stars of New York’s Metropolitan Opera have bowed out of a Japan tour, citing fears of radioactive contamination and sending the company scrambling to find last-minute stand-ins.

Soprano Anna Netrebko and tenor Joseph Calleja announced just days before the opening show that they would not join the tour of Nagoya and Tokyo despite experts’ assurances they would be safe, forcing the Met to “scour the world” for replacements, general manager Peter Gelb said Tuesday.

“Part of what makes opera such an exciting art form is that it is so unpredictable,” Gelb remarked. “If there were a rationality clause in opera singers’ contracts, not many opera singers would perform.”

The disaster and the uncertainty it spawned caused a spate of concert cancellations, and the arts scene is only now returning to normal.

Along with pop music and sports events, classical concerts by the Vienna Boys Choir, the Lyon Orchestra and the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra also were nixed, along with performances by violinists Hillary Hahn and Anne Sophie Mutter.

 

Opera stars, fearing radiation, cancel

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