Mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie Von Otter has withdrawn from her involvement in Barrie Kosky’s upcoming comic opera cabaret titled “I wish I was a chicken,” which has been rescheduled for the following season.
The move comes about in the wake of the tragic suicide of Von Otter’s husband, theatre director Benny Fredriksson. After sixteen years as CEO of Kulturhuset Stadsteatern in Stockholm, Fredriksson became the target of anonymous claims that he had been abusive in his position. While a number of the claims have since been proven untrue, the intense backlash Fredriksson faced from the media, fanned by the flames of the recent #MeToo movement, led the director to take his own life on March 19, 2018.
Director Barrie Kosky has said: “We deeply regret Anne Sofie von Otter’s loss and wish her and her family much strength during this difficult time. We fully understand that she is currently unable to work on this project, and are all the more pleased that, despite everything, she has already signalled her interest in a later staging of ‘I wish I was a chicken!’”