Breaking: Top baritone quits for three months

Breaking: Top baritone quits for three months


norman lebrecht

February 12, 2015

He crashed out of Rigoletto in Vienna. Now Simon Keenlyside has let it be known he won’t sing again before the end of April.

The Met have replaced him in Don Carlo with Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Luca Salsi.

We wish Simon a full and swift recovery.




  • erich says:

    The real problem here – and it’s a touch of Hampson-itis – is that these singers, who are peerless in their Fach, simply cannot accept that they are not Verdi baritones. They do not have the heft. Therefore when they sing outside their natural zones, they overtax their vocal cords and this is the result.

    • Lloyd Masel says:

      Where is his agent?

    • Niles says:

      If you had bothered to read just a bit into the matter instead of making totally baseless and ridiculous claims of which you have no direct knowledge, you would have discovered that he was unwell before the performance and valiantly tried to soldier on.

    • Wes says:

      Please, Mozart can ruin voices. Keenlyside has been singing Verdi repertoire for years just fine and all the top opera houses have happily cast him in these roles again and again. The man is human and illness strikes. Leave him be.

  • Has been says:

    Agents don’t sign contracts !! There is no evidence to suggest the ‘fach’ is the problem. It could be a virus for all we know. Simon is a first class Mensch and we wish him a speedy recovery.

    • Erich says:

      ….but agents, at least the older generation, used to advise, rather than just grab the commission and run! Of course he is a ‘Mensch’. But still straying outside his Fach.

  • Bob Jarvis says:

    Does it matter. Simon has given enormous pleasure to many many people, including me, and I wish him well and a speedy and full recovery

  • Novagerio says:

    Are we kidding? If anything, he’s a luxury Marullo!

  • Susanna says:

    A number of people are speculating here, yet they do not know the precise nature of the problem that occurred with Simon’s voice nor how or why it happened… surely it would be better not to make such comments.
    Furthermore, I shall never accept that he does not have the “heft” to sing Verdi and incidentally, who are you to judge, Erich??