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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Isolde Dumps Tristan

Deborah Voight withdraws from WNO Wagner run.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
To sail no more: Deborah Voigt may have sung her last Tristan und Isolde.
Photo by Ken Howard © 2007 The Metropolitan Opera.
One week before the premiere of its new production of Tristan und Isolde, the Washington National Opera had to search for a replacement soprano.

According to a story by Anne Midgette in today's Washington Post, soprano Deborah Voigt has bowed out of the WNO's season-opening run of the Wagner opera. Ms. Midgette also reported that the soprano is considering retiring the role of Isolde (the fiery Irish princess who falls hard for a Cornish knight) from her repertory.

The Post piece includes the following press statement from Ms. Voigt:

"Returning to a role that I love but haven't sung in a number of seasons, and encountering its unique challenges, has caused me to consider keeping it in my repertoire. I'm very disappointed that I feel compelled to withdraw from this production, but am very happy to continue my association with WNO both this season and into the future."

That future includes Ms. Voigt's current status as the WNO's first-ever Domingo-Carnitz Artist in Residence. Additionally, she is scheduled to sing Marie in Wozzeck at the Metropolitan Opera next spring. She is also scheduled to return to the title role in Beethoven's Fidelio, a role she recorded in the 1990s under the baton of Sir Colin Davis.

Deborah Voigt first sang Isolde at the Metropolitan Opera in 2008. More recently, she expanded her Wagnerian repertory to Brünnhilde with the Met's new Robert Lepage production of the Ring Cycle--to mixed reviews.

Her replacement is Irene Theorin, a Swedish soprano with experience in this challenging role. Ms. Theorin is well known to Washington Wagnerites, having sung Brunnhilde in recent performances of Siegfried and Götterdämmerung.

Tristan und Isolde opens Sept. 15 at the Kennedy Center.

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