Dame Sarah Connolly has withdrawn from the English National Opera’s upcoming production of Orpheus And Eurydice and a performance at the BBC Proms after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
The mezzo-soprano was due to perform Berlioz’s The Childhood Of Christ as part of Prom 37 on August 14.
Choreographer Wayne McGregor makes his ENO directorial debut with Orpheus And Eurydice from October 1, and Dame Sarah was due to sing Orpheus with Sarah Tynan singing the role of Eurydice.
Dame Sarah said in a statement: “Last month, I had an unwelcome birthday present, breast cancer
“Like so many women afflicted with this disease, I will face whatever is coming as best I can.
“Imminent surgery means I must withdraw from ENO’s Orpheus And Eurydice and L’enfance Du Christ at the BBC Proms.
“I hope, however, to fulfil all my other concert and recording commitments over the coming months.
“I’d like to thank ENO and the BBC Proms for their kindness and understanding, and I look forward to working with them both in the near future.”
The ENO said Alice Coote will now perform the role of Orpheus, adding: “Everyone at ENO sends Dame Sarah our love and we hope to see her back on the London Coliseum stage soon. We all send her our very best wishes and support as she undergoes treatment.
“ENO would like to say a huge thank you to Alice for stepping into the role at such short notice and look forward to welcoming her to rehearsals very soon.”
A statement from the Proms said: “We at the BBC Proms all wish Sarah well and are thinking of her at this difficult time.
“We are grateful to Julie Boulianne who will now perform in this Prom.”