James Morris and Erich Kunzel Drop Out of Cincinnati Opera's Hoffmann

Classic Arts News   James Morris and Erich Kunzel Drop Out of Cincinnati Opera's Hoffmann
Bass James Morris and conductor Erich Kunzel will not appear in the Cincinnati Opera's production of Offenbach's Les contes d'Hoffmann as scheduled this summer, the company announced.

Philippe Rouillon will replace Morris as the four villains—Lindorf, Copp_lius, Dappertutto, and Dr. Miracle—in the production, which runs July 20-22. Emmanuel Plasson will conduct.

Morris has withdrawn because of knee surgery. "Cincinnati Opera has a special place in my heart, and I hope to have another opportunity to perform in Music Hall in the near future," he said. "We are already discussing repertoire."

Kunzel, the conductor of the Cincinnati Pops, cited his busy summer in withdrawing. "I regret that my schedule will not allow for me to conduct this thrilling piece with Cincinnati Opera this season," he said.

Rouillon, a French baritone, has sung the four villains at La Scala and Vienna State Opera. Emmanuel Plasson has conducted at Opera Australia, New York City Opera, and Boston Lyric Opera.

"I have long admired Philippe Rouillon and it is a privilege to present him to our audience," said artistic director Evans Mirageas. "His grand stage presence and burnished French baritone voice make him an ideal choice.... Plasson is a remarkable musician and a great champion of French repertoire. We are thrilled that he is available to step in so quickly."

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