Widely lauded for his portrayal of Falstaff, the British baritone makes his WNO debut in these performances.
Mr. Hawkins' withdrawal is due to his unanticipated but immediate need for foot surgery. During the two-month recovery period, which coincides with Falstaff rehearsals and performances, Mr. Hawkins must completely limit his mobility in order to recuperate.
A long standing principal guest artist with WNO, appearing in such roles as Rigoletto, Porgy and Alberich, Mr. Hawkins will return to WNO in November as Alberich for concert performances of Wagner's G‹tterd‹mmerung.
A regular guest artist at the world's leading opera houses, Mr. Opie has been called "one of the true great Verdi baritones of our generation" (BBC Music). He has received international critical acclaim for his nuanced interpretations of Falstaff, Rigoletto and Nabucco, and his performance as Falstaff with the English National Opera earned him a nomination for the prestigious Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera.
"Washington National Opera is fortunate to have secured Alan Opie to sing the musically and dramatically challenging role of Falstaff. He brings deep experience and has enjoyed great success with the role at opera houses internationally," commented WNO's Director of Artistic Operations, Christina Scheppelmann. "The WNO family wishes Gordon Hawkins a speedy recovery and we look forward to having him back in Washington later this fall."
Washington National Opera's 2009-2010 season includes: Rossini's The Barber of Seville, Verdi's Falstaff, Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos, the revival of WNO's acclaimed production of The Gershwins Porgy and Bess, Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro and Ambroise Thomas' Hamlet, a WNO company premiere.
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