09 May 2012

Torsten Kerl to Perform Tannhäuser

Casting changes continue at the Bayreuth Festival, now only three months away.

Tenor Lars Clevemann, who sang the title role of Tannhäuser last year, has withdrawn from the role this year. “This was at his own request” explains Festival spokesman Peter Emmerich. He will be replaced by Torsten Kerl.

Kerl is not new to Bayreuth, having sung Balthasar Zorn in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg from 1996 to 2000 in the then-new production by Wolfgang Wagner and was in the cast of The Flying Dutchman in 1998 to 1999.

The controversial Tannhäuser production, by director Sebastian Baumgarten, was greeted by a chorus of boos at the opening last year. In a recent interview, Festival co-director Katharina Wagner acknowledged that the staging needs to be “further developed.”

Frank Cadenhead