Oh frabjous day!

by Chris Bertram on March 25, 2006

I had tickets to “Welsh National Opera”:http://www.wno.org.uk/ ‘s production of “The Flying Dutchman”:http://www.wno.org.uk/what.opera.106.html last night (my second trip in a week, having seen “Figaro”:http://www.wno.org.uk/what.opera.107.html on Wednesday). We Bristolians had been feeling slightly sore, since “Bryn Terfel”:http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/music/sites/brynterfel/ had sung the lead in Cardiff but had been replaced by Robert Hayward for later dates on the tour. Just before the was due to rise there was an announcement: Hayward was unwell and couldn’t sing. So now we get the third choice….? Not a bit of it! They had located Terfel on a golf course in North Wales that afternoon, put him in a car and rushed him down the M6/M5! Apparently it was touch and go whether he would make it in time. When the announcement was made the audience went wild (which made me feel extra sorry for poor Hayward). Terfel was, naturally, simply fantastic. A great singer with a tremendous presence. And a great guy … thanks for stepping in.



L. Carroll 03.25.06 at 4:35 pm

Callooh. Callay.


Rasselas 03.25.06 at 4:44 pm

A few years ago, at, I think, Tales of Hoffman:

“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I am sorry to inform you that Mr. Terfel will not be performing this evening, because of a back injury.”

From the left: “Scheiss! Scheiss!”

From the right: “Back injury? What the hell? He spends the whole second act sitting down!”

To be fair, as Don Giovanni a year later, he blew the house away.


Mike 03.25.06 at 5:56 pm

The last Fliegende Hollander I attended featured Matti Salminen who was excellent, but a Swedish woman next to me became aroused: Who is that person? Is he a Finn? Does he do this only in America?
The joys of Der Fliegende Hollander are not always all onstage.


Belle Waring 03.26.06 at 12:38 am

wow, I’m jealous.


Mike Otsuka 03.26.06 at 5:35 pm

When he sang his first Walküre Wotan, the Guardian published, not just a review, but a leader (= editorial in American English) which showered him with the following praise:

“Every generation has its own iconic performances of the great roles. Earlier ones had Olivier’s Hamlet, Callas’s Norma or Gielgud’s Prospero. Today we have Russell Beale’s Uncle Vanya, Domingo’s Otello or McTear’s Nora. And now we have Terfel’s Wotan, too.”


ajay 03.27.06 at 4:40 am

“It’s a hundred and eighty miles to the Bristol Hippodrome. We’ve got two hours to curtain up, a full tank of petrol, and a three-iron, it’s raining, and we’re wearing Pringle sweaters.”

“Hit it, boyo.”


Kenny Easwaran 03.27.06 at 5:17 pm

Somehow I never realized Bryn Terfel was Welsh before!

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