independent

Tuesday 23 October 2018

‘World class’ Davis withdraws from Festival role due to voice development

Jennifer Davis as Elsa in ‘Lohengrin’ at Covent Garden
Jennifer Davis as Elsa in ‘Lohengrin’ at Covent Garden

Anna Hayes

An Irish opera singer, who had been due to perform a role in one of this year's evening operas during the Wexford Opera Festival, last week withdrew from the role.

Tipperary soprano Jennifer Davis, who was due to sing the role of Violetta in the Saverio Mercadante opera 'Il bravo', has performed at the festival on a number of occasions in recent years, most notably singing the role of Agata in 'Don Bucefalo' in 2014.

In recent months, she made waves in the opera world in the UK when she stepped in, at short notice, to play her first Wagner role - that of Elsa in 'Lohengrin', in Covent Garden, with a performance that critics referred to as 'career defining' and 'world class' among other applause.

Explaining the reasons for Ms Davis withdrawal from Wexford, Artistic Director David Agler said: 'Since Ms Davis was initially engaged to sing the role in Wexford, her voice has developed, and the role is no longer suitable vocally. She would not want to sing the role in a way which would not do proper justice to the music or the public and so, along with Wexford, has regretfully decided not to continue. Wexford Festival Opera and Ms Davis hope that she will return to the Festival in the future.'

The role of Violetta will now be sung by Russian soprano Ekaterina Bakanova, who sang roles in 'Hubicka' and 'La serva padrona' in 2010 and who sang the role of Violetta in 'La traviata' in the Royal Opera House with just five hours of notice.

The 67th Wexford Festival Opera runs for 17 days from October 19 to November 4.

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