Associated Press, Jan 11th, 2007
Met unveils Wagnerian singing lineup
The Metropolitan Opera has unveiled a dazzling lineup of Wagnerian singers for its new production of the "Ring" cycle in 2012, headed by Deborah Voigt, Bryn Terfel, Ben Heppner and Jonas Kaufmann.

Voigt is to sing the soprano role of Bruennhilde, bass-baritone Terfel will portray Wotan and tenor Kaufmann has agreed to be Siegmund, the Met said Thursday. Heldentenor Heppner has been asked to sing the notoriously difficult role of Siegfried.

Voigt's agent, Andrea Anson, and Heppner's agent, Bill Guerri, said time has been set aside for the Met but that contracts have not yet been finalized.

The Met's new production of "Der Ring des Niebelungen," conducted by music director James Levine and directed Robert Lepage, opens with "Das Rheingold" in the fall of 2010, then continues with "Die Walkuere" in the spring of 2011, "Siegfried" in the fall of 2011 and "Goetterdaemmerung" in January 2012. Complete cycles are scheduled for the springs of 2012 and 2013, the 200th anniversary of Wagner's birth.

Met general manager Peter Gelb disclosed the involvement of Voigt, Terfel and Heppner during a public discussion last Friday sponsored by The New York Times.

Voigt is to sing her first staged Bruennhilde in April 2008 during the Vienna State Opera's new production of "Siegfried." She also had been scheduled to sing Bruennhilde in Vienna's "Goetterdaemmerung" and the "Siegfried" and "Goetterdaemmerung" Bruennhildes in the Met's 2009 revival of its late 1980s Otto Schenk production but withdrew, saying it was too soon to take on those roles, among opera's most difficult.

Terfel sang Wotan for the first time in "Das Rheingold" and "Die Walkuere" during the 2004-5 season in the Royal Opera's new production by Keith Warner and is scheduled for his first complete Ring in October, also at Covent Garden.

Heppner takes on the title role in "Siegfried" for the first time in June 2008 and Siegfried in "Goetterdaemmerung" for the first time in July 2009, both at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in France. Simon Rattle conducts and Stephane Braunschweig directs.

 back top