Imagine a major singer suddenly cancel an opera that is just two days away from opening? Most opera houses have a cover ready to step in and in other cases, there are top singers that come in as quick replacements. But when do you go from a high-profile star to arguably the man most famous for the role you are replacing.
That is exactly what audiences are getting this week when “Parsifal” opens at the Vienna State Opera. Hans-Peter König pulled out of the role of Gurnemanz from the entire run but was promptly replaced by none other than Réne Pape for the first two performances on March 30 and April 2.
Pape made waves in this role a few seasons back at the Met, towering over a cast that included the likes of Peter Mattei and Jonas Kaufmann.
There is currently no one scheduled to sing the remaining performances, which include a Live Stream on April 13. Pape will likely not be involved with this as he is scheduled to sing “Tristan Und Isolde” in Munich on that very night, according to the bass’ official website. He is also performing “Parsifal” in Berlin starting on April 8.
“Parsifal” will be conducted by Semyon Bychov in a production by Alvis Hermanis. Gerald Finley stars as Amfortas with Christopher Ventris in the title role, Jochen Schmeckenbecher as Klingsor and Nina Stemme as Kundry.