Romanian soprano Iulia Isaev’s debut at the Metropolitan Opera (the MET) in New York came at a critical moment for a new Tosca performance on the prestigious opera’s stage.
The performance took place on Monday night, March 18, but things didn’t go as planned after soprano Jennifer Rowley, who was set to lead the cast of Tosca, fell ill. In this context, only a few hours before the show, Iulia Isaev was asked to replace Rowley and thus make her debut on the MET stage.
“On the day of the show, I was called by one of the theater's secretaries and asked if I could perform that evening, as the soprano who was supposed to sing was feeling ill. I was in New York for this production. The theater always prepares two distributions just in case. However, the rehearsals are separate, so I did not know the colleagues in that evening’s cast,” the Romanian soprano told local PressOne.
However, Iulia Isaev managed to meet, and even exceed the expectations that evening. For example, the New York Classical Review wrote: “Given the circumstances, her performance on Monday was impressive: she displayed a warm, focused tone that was remarkably consistent throughout the night, save for a little tightness at the top, which forced her to cut short the climactic B flat in “Vissi d’arte.” Without much chance to rehearse, Isaev’s portrayal was generalized yet effective, sweeping majestically about the stage.”
A graduate of the National Music University in Bucharest, Iulia Isaev is a winner of several international singing competitions, such as Loire Atlantique, Nantes-France, and George Enescu in Bucharest.
She debuted at the National Opera in Bucharest right after graduation and, in the meantime, also began her international career, being invited to perform in Vienna, according to her profile on the webpage of the Bucharest National Opera. Since then, she has been invited to perform on many international stages, among them operas in Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Munich, and Amsterdam, as well as the New National Theatre Tokyo, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, and the Teatro La Fenice di Venezia.
During her career, Iulia Isaev collaborated with leading international theater and opera directors such as Peter Brook (Don Giovanni), Franco Zeffirelli (Don Giovanni), Hugo de Ana (Faust), Herbert Vernike (Falstaff), Graham Vick (Falstaff), Achim Freyer (Don Giovanni), Robert Wilson (M-ma Butterfly), Luigi Proietti (Don Giovanni), and Richard Eyre (Manon Lescaut), as well as with renowned conductors such as Michell Plasson, Rafael Fruhberg de Burgos, Daniel Harding, and Evelino Pido.
(Photo source: Facebook / Iulia Isaev)
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