Just in: Bonfire of Met vanities

Just in: Bonfire of Met vanities


norman lebrecht

September 18, 2014

The following big names have withdrawn from the first part of the Metropolitan Opera season.

Johan Reuther is out of Meistersinger – doesn’t want to undertake Hans Sachs.

Latonia Moore is out of Aida – pregnant.

Christine Schäfer is out of Hansel and Gretel – taking a season-long sabbatical.

Who’s next?


alice coote christine schafer


  • Tristan says:

    these things happen but once rather strange to pull out shortly before a new role comes up like in the case of Reuter as Hans Sachs. He hasn’t got the voive for it anyway and there is currently only one great Sachs around: Michael Volle. Christine Schaefer has lately struggled with her voice and shocked the Viennese audience so a sabbatical might be a good decision. Happy for Ms Moore to prägnant, warmest wishes.
    Don’t blame the MET management for these cancellations, it happened all over last season in London, Vienna and other companies – remind you of Netrebko and Beczala of pulling out of roles only a couple of months ago.

    • Neil McGowan says:

      I agree wholeheartedly with your point about singers being subject to human frailties 🙂

      But I beg to differ that there is “only one Sachs” right now 😉 Anyone who heard Gerard Finley in the role at Glyndebourne two years ago would testify that he is a Sachs of world stature. Impeccable German, lyrical singing with a huge range of colour and timbre, and outstanding acting. Glyndebourne, it’s true, is not the Met – but GF sings effortlessly in the world’s largest houses too.

  • Edgar Brenninkmeyer says:

    One of many factors at play: singers are humans, like us. Unless there is proven evidence to the contrary, I assume each of the three singers has decided to take care of themselves. A very sane decision.

  • Simon Bailey says:

    Tristan, I would also disagree with what you wrote. Having had the pleasure to work with Reuter and being reasonably familiar with the repertoire I think he would make an excellent Sachs.

    Also, James Rutherford is doing pretty bloody well in the role at the moment, and Wolfgang Koch isn’t too shabby either.

  • Tristan says:

    they might be good lightweights yes but Sachs needs more, a real stature and personality.
    Volle has all this! I admire all non German singers when learing such a heavy and long role where you need to know every word. The best from the past were all Germans or Austrians: Schoeffler, Adam, Ridderbusch and later on the only really great one was Bernd Weikl. Morris and Tomlinson were good but never like those I mentioned. Rootering in Munich bad and Struckmann in Vienna very good but…..Volle is is it, trust me and for once a god casting in bayreuth in 2017 as so far a real catastrophy what those tow overrated Wagner sisters do there….
    Sachs is like Marschallin: a wise and great personality!