Ricarda Merbeth Steps In For An Ill Petra Lang Under Unique Circumstances

By Francisco Salazar

After Petra Lang lost her voice during a run of “Tristan Und Isolde” at the Bayreuth Festival, Ricarda Merbeth stepped in, singing at the wings.

Because there was no time to prepare the production, Lang moved throughout the stage while Merbeth sang the challenging role.

The current production by Katharina Wagner stars Stephen Gould as Tristan, Rene Pape as King Mark and Iain Paterson as Kurwenal. Christian Thielemann is conducting the production.

Last month Piotr Beczala faced a similar circumstance when he sang the role of “Lohengrin” from the wings because Brandon Jovanovich was ill at the Zurich Opera. However, Jovanovich did not perform on stage. Instead, director Andreas Homoki stepped onstage to play the part.

This is not the most unusual of phenomena as Beczala also had to undergo this situation a few years ago during a production of “La Bohème” in Salzburg. He couldn’t sing, but since he was the one best equipped to go through the staging, Jonas Kaufmann sang the role.

“Tristan Und Isolde” runs through August 20 with Lang scheduled to sing the remaining performances.