From Development server
9 May 2018

Soprano Iréne Theorin to Replace Ailing Evelyn Herlitzius as Brünnhilde in San Francisco Opera's Upcoming Ring Cycles

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SAN FRANCISCO OPERA announced today that health considerations have forced German soprano Evelyn Herlitzius to withdraw from the role of Brünnhilde in the company’s upcoming Ring cycles. 

Herlitzius, who had been scheduled to make her company debut, will be replaced by Swedish soprano Iréne Theorin, whose performances as Brünnhilde in Francesca Zambello’s staging of Wagner’s tetralogy will mark the soprano’s first complete Ring cycles in the United States. San Francisco Opera will present three cycles of Zambello’s staging of Der Ring des Nibelungen at the War Memorial Opera House from June 12–17, June 19–24 and June 26–July 1. 

"I regret very much that due to unforeseen health reasons, I am forced to withdraw from my Ring commitment to San Francisco Opera,” Herlitzius wrote in a statement issued by San Francisco Opera. “I wish the company all success on this important presentation next month.”

Theorin, who made her San Francisco Opera debut as Turandot on opening night of the company’s 2011-12 season, sang Brünnhilde last month in the Vienna State Opera’s Ring cycles and has also portrayed Wagner’s valkyrie at Teatro alla Scala, the Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera, Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu, the Berlin State Opera, Opera Leipzig, Semperoper Dresden and and Tokyo’s New National Theatre. 

This season, the soprano has sung Isolde in the Gran Teatre del Liceu’s production of Tristan und Isolde, the title role in Elektra at Royal Swedish Opera, and she made her role debut as the Dyer’s Wife in Berlin State Opera performances of Die Frau ohne Schatten. In 2009, Theorin made her Metropolitan Opera debut on short notice, replacing an ailing colleague as the Walküre and Siegfried Brünnhildes during the company’s final revival of Otto Schenk’s Ring production. Just weeks after those performances, Theorin sang Brünnhilde in Francesca Zambello’s production of Siegfried at at Washington National Opera. 

Joining Theorin in San Francisco Opera’s Ring cycles will be Greer Grimsley as Wotan, Daniel Brenna’s Siegfried, Karita Mattila as Sieglinde, Brandon Jovanovich as Siegmund and Froh, Jamie Barton as Fricka, Waltraute and Second Norn and Falk Struckmann’s Alberich; former San Francisco Opera music director Donald Runnicles will lead the the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus in the performances. spacer 

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Photo of Theorin © Chris Gloag

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