Classical Music

Is emergency the new normal at Covent Garden? – SlippediscSlippedisc

norman lebrecht

February 09, 2023

On the opening night of Tannhäuser the tenor Stefan Vinke was unable to sing and had to mime his part. This seems to have persisted through the run. Here’s an operagoer’s protest:

I went to Tannhäuser two nights ago. Once again Vinke walked the role while (Norbert) Ernst sang it from the side of the stage. I don’t know who sang at the second performance but I know that Vinke didn’t sing the first, third or fourth performances of a six-performance run.

What is going on? Why did Ernst not perform the role in full on 7 Feb, given that he had by then sung and watched it at least twice? And what happens about the payments? Is Vinke insisting on miming the role so that he can still get his fee?

Why didn’t they ask Neal Cooper to replace Vinke on Tuesday? His final Melot in Paris was last Saturday. Cooper sang the role of Tannhäuser really well at the Saffron Hall a few months ago.

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