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The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra has landed Bryn Terfel as soloist in Sir Andrew Davis' first concerts in his new role of chief conductor.
The acclaimed Welsh bass-baritone has sung previously under Davis at the Proms and the New York Metropolitan Opera. "There could be no more appropriate guest artist to mark Sir Andrew’s inaugural concert as Chief Conductor of the MSO,” said Huw Humphreys, Director of Artistic Planning.
With a nod to the 2013 bicentennary of Wagner's' birth, the two gala performances on April 26 and 27 present Terfel in his career-defining role as Wotan in the final scene of Das Rheingold and the "Farewell" finale of Die Walküre. The opera star has become one of the most in-demand interpreters of the role; he sang it last year in Robert Lepage's landmark Met production of The Ring alongside Deborah Voigt's (whose own scheduled tour with the MSO last year was cancelled when she was forced to undergo emergency knee surgery). On that occasion the director told The New York Times Terfel had lost 14kg to become "a younger, hunkier Wotan" on stage.
For the second half of the Melbourne concerts, Terfel will perform in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the MSO Chorus and fellow soloists Sally-Anne Russell, soprano Tracy Cantin and tenor John Irvin, the latter two young artists coming direct from the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
"It is sure to be a magical night of music-making, fitting for the start of the MSO's journey with Sir Andrew at the helm," said Humphreys.