On my recent travels I saw a concert performance of Donizetti's Linda di Chamounix at Covent Garden - it's not blessed with the most coherent of plots and sometimes an aria or two can linger for longer than I'd like but it makes for a fun night out if the cast is up to scratch, which it was on Monday evening.
Among a cast that included Alessandro Corbelli (Mr Comedy Character Actor 2009), Ludovic Tézier and the upcoming Stephen Costello was Marianna Pizzolato - who played Sifare in the recent Mitridate, and the title role of WNO's 2007 production of La Cenerentola. I have to admit to feeling a sense of pride in seeing her on the stage at the ROH as she gave a warmly received performance that should ensure she gets a recall at some point in the future.
Of course this will mean that she'll be less likely to appear with WNO in the future, which is a shame for the audience this side of the Severn, but I prefer to think of it in a different way. Just as Ajax is a feeder to the big boys in football I like to think of WNO playing a similar role in the opera world. WNO are never going to be able to afford top of the heap singers (unless they're home grown) but it's pleasing to see singers who have appeared with WNO move on to becoming "names" as it shows the management can spot a good singer or two! And who knows, they might, like Simon Keenlyside, return to their old stomping grounds when they've made their reputation.