Release date: 5/2/2014

San Francisco Opera Announces Casting Changes for 2014 Productions of
La Traviata and La Boheme

Sonya Yoncheva Withdraws from Both Productions Due to Pregnancy

Nicole Cabell Replaces Ms. Yoncheva as Violetta in June 2014 Performances
of La Traviata and Alexia Voulgaridou Sings Mimi in Fall 2014 La Boheme

San Francisco Opera today announced casting changes for upcoming presentations of Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata and Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème. Soprano Sonya Yoncheva, who was scheduled to appear as Violetta Valéry in six performances of La Traviata this summer and as Mimì in seven performances of La Bohème this fall, has withdrawn from the productions because she is expecting a baby.  
American soprano Nicole Cabell, a winner of the BBC Singer of the World Competition who recently made her Company debut to great acclaim in I Capuleti e i  Montecchi, will replace Ms. Yoncheva as Violetta in the June 2014 performances of La Traviata opposite Saimir Pirgu and Stephen Costello (Alfredo Germont) and Vladimir Stoyanov (Giorgio Germont).  Greek soprano Alexia Voulgaridou will make her San Francisco Opera debut as Mimì in the November/December 2014 performances of La Bohème that were to have starred Yoncheva opposite Michael Fabiano as Rodolfo.
Sonya Yoncheva stated: “I am very sorry to be unable to participate in La Traviata with San Francisco Opera due to my pregnancy. My doctor has strictly forbidden me to travel on long-distance flights, and for this reason I feel obliged to withdraw from this production. I regret that my participation in the November/December 2014 production of La Bohème must also be cancelled, as I expect to deliver my baby in October. I wish all the best to my colleagues in San Francisco for these upcoming shows and hope to work together on a future project.”
Additional cast changes for this summer’s La Traviata and this fall’s La Bohème are also announced:  Tenor Daniel Montenegro replaces Pene Pati in the role of Gastone for all performances of La Traviata and baritone and current Adler Fellow Hadleigh Adams will sing the role of Schaunard, replacing Adler Fellow Philippe Sly, in all performances of La Bohème.
Nicole Cabell, the 2005 winner of the BBC Singer of the World Competition in Cardiff and a Decca recording artist, made her San Francisco Opera debut as Giulietta in 2012’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi and returns in June 2014 as Violetta Valéry in La Traviata. Her solo debut album, Soprano, was named “Editor’s Choice” by Gramophone and has earned several prestigious awards, including the 2007 Georg Solti Orphée d’Or from the French Académie du Disque Lyrique and an Echo Klassik Award in Germany. Recent engagements include Adina (L’Elisir d’Amore) at Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu and Tokyo’s New National Theater; Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) with Cincinnati Opera and in Tokyo; Violetta with Michigan Opera Theatre; Medora (Il Corsaro) with Washington Concert Opera; Giulietta with Lyric Opera of Kansas City; Countess Almaviva (Le Nozze di Figaro) with Montreal Opera; Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) with Lyric Opera of Chicago; Juliette (Roméo et Juliette) with Palm Beach Opera, and Leïla (Les Pêcheurs de Perles) at the Santa Fe Opera. Other career highlights include Micaëla (Carmen) at the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Deutsche Oper Berlin; Leïla with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden and Lyric Opera of Chicago; Donna Elvira with Oper Köln and the Deutsche Oper Berlin; Musetta (La Bohème) at the Met, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Covent Garden, Washington National Opera, the Santa Fe Opera, and in Buenos Aires; Adina (L’Elisir d’Amore) and Countess Almaviva at the Lyric Opera of Chicago; and Pamina and Adina at the Met. Cabell’s upcoming engagements include roles at Paris Opera and Cincinnati Opera.
Greek soprano Alexia Voulgaridou makes her San Francisco Opera debut in November 2014 as Mimì in Puccini’s La Bohème, a role she has performed at Milan’s La Scala; the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; Munich’s Bavarian State Opera; the Bregenz Festival; Deutsche Oper Berlin; and in Geneva, Hamburg, and Palermo. Career highlights include Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro) and Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier) in Munich; Micaëla (Carmen) and the title role of Manon at La Scala; the title roles of Anna Bolena and Luisa Miller at Turin’s Teatro Regio; Marguerite (Faust) and Margarita (Mefistofele) at the Ravenna Festival; Amelia (Simon Boccanegra) in Toulouse; Marguerite in Catania and Hamburg; Nedda (Pagliacci), Lucrezia (I Due Foscari), Blanche (Dialogues des Carmélites), Desdemona (Otello), and the title role of Madama Butterfly in Hamburg; Liù (Turandot), Micaëla, and Luisa Miller in Valencia; the title role of La Rondine with Opera Australia; and Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) in Bordeaux. Voulgaridou’s discography includes recordings of La Bohème from Bregenz, La Clemenza di Tito (Song BMG), Turandot (awarded “Editor’s Choice” from Gramophone), Dialogues des Carmélites, and a solo recording on the Arte Nova Classics label with the Bayerisches Rundfunk Orchestra and San Francisco Opera Music Director Nicola Luisotti.