Stepping into the title role in Racette's place tonight will be Maria Gavrilova. One of the leading sopranos at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Gavrilova has sung Butterfly there and at New York City Opera, Hamburg State Opera, Florida Grand Opera and Michigan Opera Theater, among other companies. Two other roles that figure large in her repertoire are Tchaikovsky's major soprano heroines, Tatiana in Eugene Onegin and Lisa in The Queen of Spades, which she has sung at the Bolshoi and numerous companies in Europe and the U.S.
Gavrilova joins Roberto Alagna as Pinkerton, Maria Zifchak as Suzuki and Luca Scalsi as Sharpless; on the podium will be Mark Elder, former music director of English National Opera (1979-93) and currently music director of the Hall_ Orchestra in Manchester, England. The production is the now-famous staging by film director Anthony Minghella.