Roberto Alagna and Angela Gheorghiu have withdrawn from their appearances in New York at the Metropolitan Opera this season, including Alagna's performance at Saturday's benefit for victims of the Wor

Roberto Alagna and Angela Gheorghiu have withdrawn from their appearances in New York at the Metropolitan Opera this season, including Alagna's performance at Saturday's benefit for victims of the World Trade Center attacks. The pair did not want to travel to New York from Europe, according to Met general manager Joseph Volpe.

"They were very concerned about flying," Volpe told The New York Times in Tuesday's editions.

The Met has raised more than $2 million for the relief effort, which includes Saturday's sold-out benefit performance, a celebration of Giuseppe Verdi that contains the same program as its opening-night gala on Sept. 24. Placido Domingo and Deborah Voigt are among those scheduled to perform.

Alagna, who married Gheorghiu at the Met five years ago, was to have sung Rodolfo next month in five performances of Puccini's "La Boheme" opposite his wife, who was to have sung Mimi. He also was to have sung the Duke of Mantua in Act III of "Rigoletto" at the World Trade Center benefit and on opening night. Gheorghiu previously had withdrawn from singing Gilda in "Rigoletto" on opening night.

A representative for the couple was traveling and could not be reached for comment.

Roberto Aronica will replace Alagna for the benefit and on opening night, and Marcello Giordani and Frank Lopardo will replace him in "La Boheme." Hei-Kyung Hong will replace Gheorghiu in "La Boheme."


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