Ms Theorin has sung Brünnhilde to great acclaim in many of the world’s leading opera houses, and her assumption of the role in Kasper Bech Holten’s stunning realisation from the Royal Danish Opera has been immortalised on DVD.
She has also sung Isolde at Bayreuth, Turandot at The Royal Opera and her debut in the role of Kundry was eagerly anticipated. A former employee at the English National Opera told What’s on Stage last year that securing Ms Theorin for the role was ‘a major coup’ and that ENO’s head of casting, John McMurry ‘had been trying to get Ms Theorin to sing for the company for some time.’
So what went wrong?
Opera Blog Intermezzo reported last week that Ms Theorin’s name had mysteriously disappeared from the company's website without any explanation and that Jane Dutton was now scheduled to sing the role of Kundry.
No explanation was immediately forthcoming from ENO until Dan Phelan, Head of Communications, released the following statement from Ms Theorin’s agent, Heidi Steinhaus that, “Irène Theorin has withdrawn from the role of Kundry in Parsifal because of artistic differences.”
In reply to an email sent to Ms Steinhaus from What's On Stage, she replied; "The official version is: Irene Theorin has withdrawn from the role of Kundry in Parsifal because of artistic differences. At the moment I won't say any more."
Whatever those ‘artistic differences’ may be, there will no doubt be many opera goers who will be disappointed at Ms Theorin’s non-appearance.