Oggi il mio nome non è Dolora
Lisa Hirsch had scoped it out before the e-mail had even made it out of the SF Opera press department: Dolora Zajick won't be singing the title role in Tobias Picker's Dolores Claiborne, which was written for her. She'll be replaced by Patricia Racette for the first four of the six performances, followed by Catherine Cook, who's been covering the role from the get-go.
Zajick's statement says the assignment "proved to be more challenging physically and vocally than I had anticipated, and, exacerbated by my knee problems, I feel it is best to withdraw at this point rather than try to push forward."
Racette, of course, is already on the schedule for Marguerite and Elena in Mefistofele, as well as Show Boat and Butterfly come next June. A number of years ago, when she sang a Violetta here that was the lone bright spot in an otherwise dreary Traviata, I suggested that the company's smart move would be just to "hire Racette for everything." I was, y'know, kidding.