At the Bayreuth premiere of »Valkyrie«, Tomasz Konieczny injured himself so badly that he was unable to continue singing. The “Wotan” singer suffered the injury in the second act when he fell into an armchair, the backrest of which then broke off. At first there was nothing to notice of his injury. He finished the second act professionally.
But he didn’t return to the stage after the break. 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: In the third act of the Richard Wagner opera, Michael Kupfer-Radecky stepped in at short notice.
Not a good omen for »Wotan«
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 godfather of the production. Günther Groissböck was originally scheduled for it, but he canceled last year.
Singer John Lundgren, who was supposed to replace him, then canceled in June of that year. “For personal reasons” Lundgren was not able “to be available in Bayreuth for the intensive rehearsals necessary for the new production,” the festival announced at the time. Egils Silins then stepped in for Lundgren in the first »Ring« part »Rheingold«. Konieczny was intended for the role in Die Walküre and Siegfried. It was initially unclear whether he would be able to appear in »Siegfried«, the third of the four »Ring« parts, on Wednesday.