Royal Opera Japan tour diary: The second understudy steals the show

By Nicholas Wroe [The Guardian, 14 September 2010]
And so to the opening nights, and one of the classic storylines in all opera – not the dying heroines of Manon and La Traviata, but the understudy who steals the show. La Traviata began with Elaine Padmore, director of opera, coming on stage to formally apologise for Angela Gheorgiu’s absence, and to explain that Violetta would be sung by Ermonela Jaho. Then, at the start of the second act, Padmore appeared again: “I wasn’t expecting to be making another speech today …”