Twilight of the god?

rene_papeRené Pape has withdrawn from La Scala’s season-opening new production of Die Walküre, in what was to have been his role debut as Wotan. Vitalij Kowaljow will substitute.  Pape is still scheduled to sing this role at the Berlin Staatsoper in April 2011. It is not clear at this point if Pape’s decision was based on vocal issues or a very reasonable unwillingness to spend five hours of stage time cavorting with mimes.