September 4, 2019
On Tuesday, the S.F. Opera issued a press release announcing that Bryan Hymel would be bowing out of the season opening performances of Charles Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette for “personal reasons.” The Opera did not elaborate. Pene Pati, who was scheduled to sing the final performance, on Oct. 1, will take over all performances.
Hymel was last at SFO for an outstanding interpretation of Énée in Hector Berlioz’s Les Troyens at SFO in June 2015, but he was forced to cancel half the performances in that run, as well as the next month’s scheduled appearances for Santa Fe Opera. Illness returned to plague the singer in 2018–2019, in which he cancelled a number of performances at the Bavarian State Opera, the Metropolitan Opera, and then the Paris Opera. The opera world can still hope that this incident is unrelated and that, if vocal troubles or illness are the problem, that Hymel will return to full strength shortly.