8 February 2011
Tenor Ben Heppner Withdraws From Met's New Ring Cycle
The Metropolitan Opera has announced that tenor Ben Heppner has withdrawn from next season's performances of the company's new Ring cycle after retiring the role of Siegfried from his repertoire.
Heppner, who was to have sung the role of Siegfried in performances of Siegfried and Götterdämmerung during the 2011-12 season, will be replaced by Gary Lehman and Stephen Gould.
Lehman will make his title-role debut in Siegfried performances slated for October 27, November 1, 5 matinee, April 21 matinee and April 30. Gould — who has sung the role of Siegfried at the Vienna State Opera and the Bayreuth Festival — will assay Siegfried's title role on May 9. Likewise, Lehman sings Götterdämmerung's Siegfried on January 27, February 7, 11 and May 3; Gould will sing the role on January 31, February 3, April 24 and the May 12 matinee performance.
Lehman, who made his Met debut in 2008 as Tristan in Tristan und Isolde, sang Siegmund in last season's Ring cycle performances of Die Walküre, which marked the company's final presentation of Otto Schenk's staging of Wager's tetralogy. He also sang Alwa in last season's Met performances of Lulu. Stephen Gould made his Met debut as Erik in last season's performances of Der Fliegende Höllander.
Next season will mark the premieres of Robert Lepage's productions of Siegfried and Götterdämmerung, as well as the presentation of the Canadian director's interpretation of Wagner's entire four-opera cycle, which will play under the baton of Met music director James Levine.
More information can be found at The Metropolitan Opera.
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