Just in: Bayreuth has to recast its Brünnhilde

Just in: Bayreuth has to recast its Brünnhilde


norman lebrecht

March 03, 2020

The US soprano Christine Goerke has cancelled her Bayreuth debut for ‘personal reasons’.


She has told the festival she cannot manage the long rehearsal periods required for a new production.

Bayreuth says it hopes she will turn up for Tristan und Isolde in 2023.

This summer her replacement will be the Sweidhs soprano Iréne Theorin.




  • A.L. says:

    But why should they cast her as Isolde three years downstream? She moves from vocal crisis to vocal crisis to vocal crisis, after all.

  • Alviano says:

    The story of not wanting to rehearse stinks. Maybe she should confine her appearances to the concert stage.

  • Karl says:

    I guess I am lucky to have heard her sing at Tanglewood.

  • frank says:

    Scheduling problems means no top notes. Barely controlled screaming is what we got from her in the Met’s Turandot.

  • Pedro says:

    Theorin is as bad as Goetke. Only Stemme is great in the part, as far as the live performances I heard are concerned.

  • Peter says:

    Surely the length of the rehearsal commitment was in the contract she signed when she accepted the engagement.

    • Maria says:

      Yes, probably five years ago. Life, singers’ bodies and their instruments change rapidly in that space of time, unlike a clarinet! Sad situation.

    • Bruce says:

      Maybe circumstances changed after she signed the contract.

  • fflambeau says:

    She’s very good. I doubt the reasons expressed here are the real ones.

  • Yes Addison says:

    Like or dislike Goerke’s voice, singing and interpretations, but let’s be fair. She’s isn’t someone who wants to loll around in bed watching a video of the production so she can fly in hours before the first performance. She’s always been a hard worker and a team player; she has the respect of her conductors and directors. She cannot commit to lengthy rehearsals in Europe this year because of a family/personal matter that could not have been foreseen. The Festival, to its credit, was understanding.

  • Leporello says:

    When she found out what the production was going to be like, she probably baulked. Why am I not surprised?

  • opera tourist says:

    Bravo! Irene Theorin will be a first rate replacement – probably better than the original! Next time Bayreuth needs to choose her first!!!

  • Scott says:

    What bitchy, tasteless comments! The woman has a personal family issue. Goerke would not blow her debut at Bayreuth simply to be a diva and create headlines. There is nothing worse than a nasty group of Opera queens.