It is with the deepest regret that I must announce my withdrawal from the La Gioconda at Opera di Roma. My sadness at this development is all the greater because Gioconda was a new role which I have been excited to perform and which, despite initial reservations, I have come to feel fits my voice exceptionally well. Unfortunately, I arrived in Rome two weeks ago with bronchitis and haven't been well since. My respiratory tract is now clear, but for the past three days I have suffered from fatigue, headaches and a fever which have defied ibuprofen and have made standing up and working difficult. As the role is a new one for me, sitting out tech week rehearsals and then attempting to perform seems a very bad idea. Flu-like symptoms, ironically enough, are harder for an artist to work around than respiratory ones, which respond to decongestants, steroids and whatnot. Drinking Red Bulls to get through rehearsals when you are only sitting watching is a very bad sign. I have the highest regard for the medical practicioners of Italy, but given that I have been ill to some degree for the past six weeks, I think it best that I go home and see my own physician, to make sure I am in top form for my remaining engagements this fall.
I offer my most heartfelt gratitude to Maestri Abbado and Pizzi for their inspiration and support, and to the administration of Teatro dell'Opera di Roma for their confidence in my abilities and for their ongoing interest in collaborating with me. To my wonderful colleagues I wish a stupendous opening night and a successful run. All the best, and thanks for the music!