Stage accident in Bayreuth: "Wotan" singer replaced during the performance

The new Bayreuth "Ring" has no luck with "Wotan": At the premiere of "Valkyrie" singer Tomasz Konieczny in the role of the father of the gods is injured in an accident.

Stage accident in Bayreuth: "Wotan" singer replaced during the performance

The new Bayreuth "Ring" has no luck with "Wotan": At the premiere of "Valkyrie" singer Tomasz Konieczny in the role of the father of the gods is injured in an accident. He doesn't show his pain, but he doesn't return to the stage after the break.

At the Bayreuth premiere of "Valkyrie", "Wotan" singer Tomasz Konieczny was so badly injured that he could not continue singing. Michael Kupfer-Radecky stepped in for him at short notice in the third act of the Richard Wagner opera.

Konieczny sustained the injury in Act II when he fell into an armchair, the back of which broke off. The singer fell to the ground. At first it was not obvious that he was injured. He finished the second act so professionally that some viewers assumed the incident could be part of the production. But after the break, Konieczny did not return to the stage. The press spokesman for the Bayreuth Festival, Hubertus Herrmann, stepped in front of the curtain before the beginning of the third act and informed the audience about the last-minute cast change.

The "Wotan" role in this year's new production of "Ring des Nibelungen" does not bring luck to the festival: Kupfer-Radecky is already the fifth father of the gods in the production. Günther Groissböck was originally intended for this, but he canceled last year.

Singer John Lundgren, who was supposed to replace him, then canceled in June of this year. "For personal reasons" it was not possible for Lundgren "to be available in Bayreuth for the intensive rehearsals necessary for the new production," the festival said at the time. Egils Silins then stepped in for Lundgren in the first "Ring" part "Rheingold". Konieczny was intended for the role in "Valkyrie" and "Siegfried". It was initially unclear whether he could appear in "Siegfried", the third of the four "Ring" parts, on Wednesday.

Not only the "Wotan" changes are making it difficult for "Ring" director Valentin Schwarz this year in terms of personnel. Conductor Pietari Inkinen also had to throw in the towel shortly before the premiere due to a corona disease. Cornelius Meister took over for him. Incidentally, the "Wotan" incident is not the first time that a broken seat has made headlines at the Bayreuth Festival: in 2015, a chair under the then Chancellor Angela Merkel collapsed during the break. Reports of an alleged dizzy spell made the rounds, but were quickly denied.

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