Just in: Kaufmann and Westbroek abandon Paris Ring

The Bastille Ring, which is due to roll this week but may never happen due to Covid, has received withdrawal notices from two box-office stars.

Jonas Kaufmann (Siegmund) says he’s cutting back in travel during the pandemic and Eva-Maria Westbroek (Sieglinde) is nursing a husband who is sick with the virus.

Stuart Skelton and Lise Davidsen have been inked in as replacements.


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  • Sort of related, but just to say the two most mind-blowing live vocal performances I’ve seen in the last decade – by a mile – are Kaufmann’s Siegmund at the Met and Davidsen’s Elisabeth in Bayreuth. The kind of moments in opera you dream of hearing. In fact, add Michael Volle’s Hans Sachs (Bayreuth) and Ludovic Tézier’s MacBeth (Liceu) to that. Oh… and Brindley Sherratt’s Claggart (Teatro Real, Madrid)… Ok, I’ll shut up now.

  • This just in: A newly-discovered opera by John Cage. Recorded on hundreds of pages of plain white (not staff) paper, the work requires no audience, no orchestra, no singers, and – most happily of all – no director. The length? 4 hrs., 33 mins., of course. It’s expected to be a big hit during pandemic Christmas, especially when paired with YouTube videos of fake fire in a fake fireplace.

    • Many music lovers have been waiting for this production, which reveals the real meaning of much new operas since WW II.

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