A spokesperson for the ROH told London's Daily Telegraph that "Angela has withdrawn from this role," denying rumors that Covent Garden management had dismissed the singer. "She says she wasn't quite sure it was a role for her and she was slightly uncomfortable with it." The part in question is the female lead, Elisabeth de Valois, a French princess romantically entangled with the heir to the Spanish throne.
According to The Observer, Gheorghiu will be replaced by soprano Marina Poplavskaya, a member of the ROH's Jette Parker Young Artists Programme. The production, of the original French-language version of Verdi's historical epic, will be by Nicholas Hytner, head of Britain's National Theatre and one of the most successful stage directors in the English-speaking world.