Simon Keenlyside Withdraws from Chicago Lyric's Iphig_nie en Tauride

Opera   Simon Keenlyside Withdraws from Chicago Lyric's Iphig_nie en Tauride
English baritone Simon Keenlyside has withdrawn from Lyric Opera of Chicago's new production of Gluck's Iphig_nie en Tauride due to back problems, the company has announced.

American baritone Lucas Meachem will instead sing the role of Oreste in the production, scheduled to run eight performances between September 29 and October 27.

This production, directed by Robert Carsen and featuring Susan Graham in the title role, was to have been Keenlyside's Chicago Lyric debut. His back problems stem from an untreated injury from a fall a few years ago; according to a statement, Keenlyside has cancelled all stage engagements for the next three months while undergoing treatment.

(At the moment, it appears that Keenlyside will make his scheduled concert appearances on August 28 at the Edinburgh Festival and September 3 at the Lucerne Festival.)

Lucas Meachem, a 2005 Adler Fellow with the San Francisco Opera, has appeared with that company in the title role of Eugene Onegin, Fra Melitone in La forza del Destino, and Papageno in The Magic Flute, as well as roles in Doktor Faust and Billy Budd.

Engagements for the 2005-2006 season included Papageno with Palm Beach Opera and the role of Silvandre in the world premiere of Pastorale by Gerard Pesson at the Staatstheater Stuttgart. Upcoming engagements include the title role in Don Giovanni with Hawaii Opera Theater.

Iphig_nie en Tauride is the third Gluck work produced in Chicago Lyric's history (after Orfeo ed Euridice and Alceste), and will be conducted by Louis Langr_e in his house debut.

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