Just in: Kaufmann and Westbroek abandon Paris Ring

Just in: Kaufmann and Westbroek abandon Paris Ring


norman lebrecht

November 18, 2020

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.



  • Dalledu Alletre says:

    Well, those are not bad replacements actually.

  • Manu says:

    The replacements are better!

  • Nicolai says:

    Lucky for us, the replacements are actually better then the initial cast!! Huray!!

  • John Borstlap says:

    You can see in the picture how happy they are about their decision.

    • Melisande says:

      Joking? The picture stems, of course, from non-COVID days!

      • John Borstlap says:

        My fly on the wall tells me that the picture was taken just after they left the telephone box where they cancelled their involvement, and were planning to get a drink together to celebrate.

    • Maria says:

      Not when she’s nursing a sick husband with the virus that is rising. Perhaps a very old photo.

  • Paul B says:

    That’s good, Kaufmann should stick to his Christmas records. He could not top these with anything else anyway.

  • V says:

    The cycle has officially been cancelled

  • Stephen says:

    Good for Stuart! I conducted a Dutchman with him and he was just super. He is getting his day now.

  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    Skelton stood in for Kaufman at Baden Baden a couple of years ago he was magnificent.

  • Ernest says:

    Paris is in for a treat – hope the performances can be streamed online.

  • Straussian says:

    This is academic anyway, as I simply don’t see it happening given the pandemic.

  • Sam McElroy says:

    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.

  • FWilliams says:

    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.

    • John Borstlap says:

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

  • Tobias Edwards says:

    Wow! Sad but true, I hope the box office is ready for the refund demand.

  • Henk Rentnaar says:

    Eva-Maria Westbroek’s husband Frank van Aken is also an operasinger. He is a tenor.

  • Johan says:

    Ksufmann abandons Paris? That is not nes,is habit