May 9, 2018
The San Francisco Opera has just announced a casting change to its highly touted cast for Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung. Evelyn Herlitzius, scheduled to make her U.S. debut as Brünnhilde in the Francesca Zambello production, has withdrawn from the run for health reasons. Replacing her will be Swedish dramatic soprano Iréne Theorin who will be giving her singing in her first complete Ring cycle in the U.S.
Herlitzius was considered a major casting coup when she signed on, and the company is hoping to lure her back in the near future, as the company’s general manager, Matthew Shilvock, made plain in a prepared statement: “She is an incredible artist whom I have been so honored to get to know over the past few years. We were very excited to have her debut on the War Memorial Opera House stage and hope to bring Evelyn here in the future. We wish her a full and speedy recovery.”
Theorin rides to the rescue on a host of major house credits in the role of Wagner’s Valkyrie, including a cycle this past April at the Vienna State Opera. She has performed Brünnhilde and other major dramatic soprano roles throughout Europe, played the part in the last revival of the Otto Schenk Ring at the Metropolitan Opera in 2009, and even has played in the Zambello Ring, in Siegfried at Washington National Opera. S.F. Opera regulars, of course, saw her in Turandot in 2011.