For reasons of ill health, soprano Renée Fleming has cancelled her scheduled appearance today at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland. She was to be a headline artist at this evening's concert, singing Brahms and Schubert lieder with James Levine at the piano and taking the soprano solos in the Mozart Requiem with the Collegiate Chorale and UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra. (Levine, for health reasons of his own, won't be at the concert either.)
Not to worry, though: her condition isn't critical. Her press representative told Playbill Arts that Fleming is suffering from acute sinusitis. (Not only would that affect her singing, of course, but, as some of us know all too well, taking a transatlantic flight with inflamed sinuses is agony.)
In Fleming's absence, colleagues have been ready to step into the breach — though the program has had to be rearranged. Bass-baritone Thomas Quasthoff, who is already at the festival, will sing half a dozen Schubert lieder accompanied by Justus Zeyen at the piano, next violinist Radoslaw Szulc, cellist Mischa Maisky and pianist Lang Lang will play the Mendelssohn Trio No. 1. The concert will still finish up with the Mozart Requiem, with soloists Anne Sofie von Otter, Kenneth Tarver and René Pape joined by soprano Barbara Bonney, who is returning to the concert stage after an absence of nearly a year.