Posted April 20, 2011
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (April 20, 2011)—San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley today announced a casting change in the Company’s upcoming presentation of Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung). American tenor Jay Hunter Morris will now sing the title role of Siegfried replacing acclaimed Wagernian tenor Ian Storey, who was originally announced to sing the role of Siegfried in both Siegfried and Götterdämmerung, the third and fourth operas of the composer’s epic four-opera cycle. With today’s announcement, Mr. Storey will only sing in Götterdämmerung, a performance that will mark both his Company and role debuts.
The Siegfried premiere is slated for Sunday, May 29 followed by the Götterdämmerung premiere a week later on Sunday, June 5. Three complete cycles of the Ring will be presented at the War Memorial Opera House from June 14 to July 3, 2011.
“Over recent months, Ian Storey was dealing with an illness which greatly interrupted his learning period for the role of Siegfried. When he arrived in San Francisco, he realized he could not catch up with both operas, choosing instead to focus his attention on the role of Siegfried in Götterdämmerung. We are fortunate that we had a very capable cover for the role in the person of Jay Hunter Morris, a talented artist who knows the role of Siegfried very well. It was a unanimous and enthusiastic choice to put Jay Hunter Morris into the title role of Siegfried,” said San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley.
“With great reluctance, I am going to have to withdraw from San Francisco Opera’s Siegfried and instead concentrate on my performance and role debut in Götterdämmerung. I’m greatly saddened that I can’t sing both and have had to make this decision, but I need to do the best thing for me and for San Francisco Opera,” said Mr. Storey.
About Jay Hunter Morris:
Jay Hunter Morris returns to San Francisco Opera to make his role debut as Siegfried, which he has previously covered at Los Angeles Opera and Seattle Opera. The American tenor made his Company debut creating the role of Mitch in Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire in 1998; he also created roles in San Francisco Opera’s world premiere productions of Dead Man Walking (2000) and Doctor Atomic (2005). Other Company appearances include Steva (Jenůfa), Walther von Stolzing (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Lykov (The Tsar’s Bride), and roles in Louise, Saint François d’Assise, and Doktor Faust. Morris first earned nationwide attention in 1995 when he created the role of Tony in Terrence McNally’s play Master Class at the Philadelphia Theatre Company. He continued in the role at the Mark Taper Forum, the Kennedy Center, and on Broadway. Recent engagements include Erik (Der Fliegende Hollander) at Seattle Opera and Opera Australia and creating the role of Marky in the world premiere of Howard Shore’s The Fly at Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, a role that he revived with Los Angeles Opera. His other career highlights include Steva with the Metropolitan Opera and the Dallas Opera; Walther (Tannhäuser) with Tokyo Opera Nomori; Anatol (Vanessa) and des Grieux (Manon Lescaut) with Seattle Opera; and Walther (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg) at Frankfurt State Opera.