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Washington National Opera's 'Hamlet' undergoes another cast change

And I thought the Scottish Play was the cursed one. Turns out that "Hamlet" can be a bad luck inducer, too -- at least in its operatic version by Ambroise Thomas.

When this infrequently staged work made it to the Metropolitan Opera in March -- the first time it was presented there since 1897 -- starry soprano Natalie Desay dropped out of the cast a couple weeks before the opening.

Washington National Opera, which opens a production of "Hamlet" May 19, has been through it's own to-sing-or-not-to-sing troubles.

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First to go, several weeks ago, was baritone Carlos Alvarez, who was to have sung the title role; Liam Bonner and Michael Chioldi will share that assignment.

On Tuesday came word that

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soprano Diana Damrau, now pregnant, has had to withdraw from the role of Ophelia. She will be replaced by Elizabeth Futral.

Oh yes, then there's company general director Placido Domingo, who was to have conducted all performances. After he underwent cancer surgery recently, he decided, quite understandably, to cut back on some of his activities; he relinquished three of the seven "Hamlet" performances to Patrick Fournillier.

Got all that?

PHOTO OF ELIZABETH FUTRAL BY CHRISTIAN STEINER COURTESY OF ELIZABETH FUTRAL.COM

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