Gheorghiu withdraws from start of new Met 'Carmen'

NEW YORK – Soprano Angela Gheorghiu has pulled out of the first six performances of the Metropolitan Opera's new production of Bizet's "Carmen," which opens New
Year's Eve.

The Richard Eyre staging was designed around Gheorghiu, making an unusual foray into a role written for mezzo-sopranos, and her husband, tenor Roberto Alagna.

The Met says Gheorghiu withdrew for "personal reasons" from performances through Jan. 21, including the Jan. 16 matinee set for simulcast to theaters around the world, but will sing "Carmen" on April 28 and May 1.

Gheorghiu will be replaced in the six performances by mezzo Elina Garanca.