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Wir arme Leut

Here’s the official announcement as of 2:10 PM: “Matthias Goerne is stepping into the title role in tonight’s opening night performance of Berg’s Wozzeck, replacing Thomas Hampson, who has withdrawn due to illness.” Wait, there’s more!

“The Met approached Goerne, who was in New York performing at Carnegie Hall, yesterday evening when the company’s artistic staff learned of Hampson’s withdrawal. Goerne sang a solo recital at Carnegie Hall and then considered the offer overnight before agreeing. He is currently en route to the Met where he will rehearse with Maestro James Levine and the company’s staff directors. In a serendipitous twist, Goerne attended Monday morning’s dress rehearsal of Wozzeck as a guest, allowing him a chance to see the production in advance.”

58 comments

  • Gualtier M says:

    Hampson’s cover is Daniel Sutin. Don’t know who Debbie Voigt’s cover is -- Sabine Hogrefe and Lori Phillips are on the roster. Sutin probably is good but Goerne was on a WHOLE OTHER LEVEL of GREAT tonight. Way better than his concert reading with the VSO last Friday. Word was that Hampson’s illness started before last Monday. Goerne was approached before yesterday about taking over.

    This looked on paper to be one of the weakest revivals this season. However, a new leading man and a surprisingly effective leading lady and a great conductor and production and you have one magnificent evening of opera. Right up there with the “Frau” earlier this season.

    • Chanterelle says:

      Goerne is scheduled to sing Wozzeck in Vienna on the 23rd; the last Met performance is the matinee on the 22nd. So he probably doesn’t have to hop a plane tomorrow, but he does have obligations…

  • It may be of passing interest that all of the press and promo photos of Mr. Hampson from Monday’s dress rehearsal have been taken DOWN from the Met’s press photo server.

    • Gualtier M says:

      Does this mean that Goerne is taking over the run? He is due at the Wiener Staatsoper as Wozzeck starting on March 23rd… The last Met “Wozzeck” is on March 22nd.

      • m. croche says:

        Perhaps Mr. Domingo can step in.

      • m. p. arazza says:

        “Goerne is headed for Johannesburg on Friday…..”
        http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory/short-notice-goerne-sings-2nd-wozzeck-week-22812621

        So why did he exit the cast 3 years ago? Of course, I seem to remember reading here that he was found to be inaudible in the house. ABC says it was because of knee surgery.

        • MontyNostry says:

          Love the line in the report: “Levine’s conducting was slightly different than Franz Welser-Moest’s with the Vienna Philharmonic.” Just in case anyone thought all conductors always did exactly the same thing. I realise the AP article is for general consumption, but how many readers are going to be gripped by an article about Wozzeck?

        • Gualtier M says:

          I think it was Wolfgang Holzmair who was found inaudible as Don Alfonso in the Christie “Cosi” revival three years ago and was bought out.

          Someone told me that Goerne broke his arm before that previous revival with Waltraud Meier and Skelton? Goerne was adequately audible as Papageno but Mozart’s orchestra is quite different from Berg’s.

          • m. p. arazza says:

            Ah, Holzmair, yes ..

            I remember looking forward to Goerne’s Papageno (this must have been the first run) which was fine except, oddly, all his lower notes petered out. Of course that was just one night, and a long time ago.