Soprano Julie Fuchs has announced on her Facebook page that she will no longer be performing in Staatsoper Hamburg’s upcoming production of Mozart’s “Die Zauberflote.”
“Today, I have an unexpected announcement to make,” writes Fuchs. “The Staatsoper Hamburg has unfortunately informed me just this week that the artistic integrity of the Jette Steckel production of ‘Die Zauberflöte’ cannot be maintained if the soprano singing Pamina is four months pregnant.
As you can imagine, I am very disappointed as I am feeling vocally and physically in top form. I am fully committed to fulfilling my contracts as planned and previously announced. I was very much looking forward to making my debut in this role, and singing for all of you in Hamburg. My apologies to those of you who already booked tickets. Whilst I respect the artistic vision of the theatre, I am saddened that we were not able to find a solution to accommodate this slight physical difference which does not negatively affect my vocal or artistic performance. It was my strong desire to find small production changes to make my appearance possible. As is the case with most women, in this second trimester of my pregnancy, I am happy to report that I am feeling full of energy and my good health has been confirmed by my doctors. I look forward to returning to the stage in June to sing Poppea at the Opernhaus Zürich.”
Filling in for Julie Fuchs will be Ukrainian soprano Olga Kulchynska, opposite Dovlet Nurgeldiyev’s Tamino.
“Die Zauberflote” will run May 6, 8, and 10, 2018.
Here is the full statement from the Hamburg State Opera:
“The Hamburg State Opera regrets that we are not allowed to fill the soprano Julie Fuchs in the role of Pamina in the Hamburg production of the „Magic Flute“. After a thorough examination, it is not possible to change the staging so that there is no danger for the expectant mother and at the same time the core of the production of Jette Steckel remains. There are a variety of physically demanding scenes in this production, including several flight scenes, which are prohibited in principle for pregnant women. “The legal situation for the protection of the expectant mother is clear and we will never take a health risk, even if only a risky scenic action could take place on the stage,” Tillmann Wiegand, Director of Artistic Management at the Hamburg State Opera.”