Graves pulled out due to a direct order from her doctor to rest her vocal cords for six to eight weeks.
Graves said: "I am deeply disappointed to have to withdraw from Opera New Jersey's production of Carmen. I arrived in New Jersey on the tail end of a bronchial virus and rehearsed with my colleagues in anticipation of a wonderful run of performances. Frustratingly, the bronchial virus got worse over the past week, and my physicians have recommended that I come out of the production in order for my body to recover completely."
Celebrated mezzo-soprano Kirstin Chšvez, has been dubbed "the Carmen of a lifetime" by Opera News. "With her dark, generous mezzo, earthy eroticism, volcanic spontaneity and smoldering charisma, Chšvez has it all, including a superb command of French and a sense of humor," Opera News wrote of the mezzo-soprano's Austria performance.
Chšvez has drawn acclaim for her Carmen performances with the New York City Opera, Opera Australia, Tokyo City Opera and other international opera companies.
Joseph Rescigno conducts this Carmen at three New Jersey locations. Joining Chšvez onstage will be Richard Leech as Don Jos_, Luis Ledesma as Escamillo and Caitlin Lynch as MicaêŠla.
Performances take place on Friday, February 5, (7:30 p.m.) at the Matthews Theatre Auditorium at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, Sunday, February 7, (3 p.m.) at the State Theatre in New Brunswick and Friday, February 12 (8 p.m.) at NJPAC in Newark. Tickets range in price from $25 to $125 in Princeton and from $25 to $109 in New Brunswick and Newark.
Tickets for all performances are available for purchase from the NJSO Box Office by phone at 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476) or online at www.njsymphony.org. Tickets for the NJPAC engagement may also be purchased through the NJPAC Box Office by phone at 1.888.GO.NJPAC (466.5722), online at www.njpac.org or in person at 1 Center Street in Newark.