When I think back on my short visit to Hamburg, where I was to step in as Desdemona on March 12th as part of the Italian Opera Weeks, it was a surreal experience. The rehearsals on Monday started for me with hope of returning to a beloved house and with joy to finally be able to vote again for the part of Desdemona that I had sung only once before, at the Houston Grand Opera in 2014 and now would take over again – alongside DES Otello’s José Cura! I have a very special relationship with Hamburg, it was one of the first opera houses where I sang Violetta – a role that subsequently opened many doors for me. So it was a touching moment for me to meet and greet old and new friends when I arrived.

After quick stage and vocal rehearsals on Monday and a piano session on Tuesday, I spent a quiet Wednesday, showed the city to my friend and ate in one of my favorite restaurants, the Tarantella.

The COVID-19 drama has thrown all of our planning over night. A close friend of my friend called us in the middle of the night to warn us that at midnight on Friday March 13th, entry into the United States would begin.

At 5:30 in the morning, I was thinking about how we should start our journey home. Return flights have already been canceled, and without knowing whether our “Otello” performances could still go ahead, I booked new flights for us on Friday morning so that at least I could return.

Read the complete article via The Opera Glass .

Photo credit: Chris Singer