News just in: Now Bryn Terfel quits Verbier (update)

News just in: Now Bryn Terfel quits Verbier (update)


norman lebrecht

July 22, 2011

The Welsh baritone Bryn Terfel has pulled out of the Verbier Festival, where he was meant to be singing Tosca. No reason has been gieven, but coming so soon after the very public withdrawal of Gidon Kremer it accentuates the sense of crisis at the Swiss mountain Festival.

Terfel, unlike Kremer, is not a stranger to cancellations. Last night he stood in to the festival’s relief for Thomas Quasthoff in Mendelssohn’s Elijah.

But his pullout could not have come at shorter notice, or hit the festival harder. Those present say the atmosphere is exceptionally tense.

One has to sympathise with the festival’s director Martin Engstroem, whose birthday it is today.

Martin Engstroem

Here’s the press statement (in French). Terfel is replaced by Ambrogio Maestri.

Verbier – 22 juillet 2011 / Le baryton Ambrogio Maestri remplace Bryn Terfel dans Tosca le dimanche 24 juillet.

Bryn Terfel a le regret de devoir renoncer à sa prestation dans Tosca le dimanche 24 juillet. Il est remplacé par le baryton Ambrogio Maestri dans le rôle de Scarpia. Ambrogio Maestri a déjà chanté ce rôle plusieurs fois notamment à Torre del Lago et a débuté dans le rôle de Falstaff sous la direction de Ricardo Muti à la Scala. Il s’est fait connaître dans les rôles de différents opéras, dont entre autres Rigoletto, La forza del destino, La Traviatata ou Il Trovatore. Il s’agit de sa première apparition au Verbier Festival.


AND….. Now they’ve cancelled the annual barbecue and raclette, but that’s because it’s too cold… see here.


  • MP1 says:

    Word is (from members of the Elijah chorus) that Terfel (like Quastoff) has a cold/respiratory infection and struggled through the first half of Elijah. Seeing Quastoff in the audience he approached him at the interval to ask if he (Quastoff) could take over but the request was declined. Terfel made it though the second half albeit by ducking out of the odd high note and dropping his last air completely. He seemed subdued during the curtain calls.

    There seem to be perfectly good medical/vocal reasons for his cancellation. I don’t know who is saying that the air is exceptionally tense in Verbier (maybe behind the scenes) but none of the concert-going public that I have met have commented on it.