Release date: 4/20/2011

Ring Casting Change Announced

Tenor Jay Hunter Morris to Sing Title Role of Siegfried Replacing Previously Announced Artist Ian Storey

Photos Available
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (April 20, 2011)—San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley today announced a casting change in the Company’s upcomingpresentation 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 the Artists
 
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. 
 
Acclaimed British tenor Ian Storey makes his San Francisco Opera debut and role debut as Siegfried in Götterdämmerung. His career highlights include Cavaradossi (Tosca), Rodolfo (La Bohème), Manrico (Il Trovatore), Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly), Boris (Kát'a Kabanová) and Florestan (Fidelio) with Scottish Opera; Cavaradossi, Boris and Erik (Der Fliegende Holländer) with Welsh National Opera; Erik with Milan’s La Scala and Washington National Opera; Števa (Jenůfa) and Tristan (Tristan und Isolde) at La Scala; Tristan at Deutsche Oper Berlin and in Zurich; the title role of Otello with Los Angeles Opera and in Naples and Wroclaw, Poland; Samson (Samson et Dalila) in Genoa; Don José (Carmen) at Munich’s Bavarian State Opera, Royal Swedish Opera, the Glyndebourne Festival and in Cagliari; the title role of Tannhäuser with Frankfurt Opera; and Bacchus (Ariadne auf Naxos) in Venice and Lisbon. He has performed Calaf in Turandot, one of his signature roles, at the Torre del Lago Puccini Festival; the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; Berlin’s Linden Opera; the Arena di Verona; and in Genoa, Bari, Trieste and Mexico City. Recent engagements include Bacchus with Washington National Opera, Aegisth (Elektra) at London’s Barbican Centre and Tristan in Düsseldorf.
 
 
About The Ring
 
San Francisco Opera presents Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, one of the greatest works ever conceived for the operatic stage, in a new production by San Francisco Opera Artistic Adviser and internationally celebrated director Francesca Zambello. The four operas in this new production—Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung—are presented for the first time as a complete cycle. Der Ring des Nibelungen is presented in three complete cycles this summer (June 14–19, June 21–26, and June 28–July 3), in addition to the San Francisco production premiere performance of Siegfried on May 29 and new production premiere performance of Götterdämmerung on June 5.
 
Maestro Donald Runnicles, one of the world’s most acclaimed Wagner conductors and former San Francisco Opera music director, will lead the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus in these performances that feature an international roster of singers, including Nina Stemme (Brünnhilde), Mark Delavan (Wotan), Jay Hunter Morris (Siegfried/Siegfried), Ian Storey (Siegfried/Götterdämmerung), Gordon Hawkins (Alberich), Larissa Diadkova (Fricka), David Cangelosi (Mime), Anja Kampe (Sieglinde), Brandon Jovanovich (Siegmund and Froh), Stefan Margita (Loge), Gerd Grochowski (Donner and Gunther) and Andrea Silvestrelli (Fasolt and Hagen).
 
In conjunction with the Ring cycles, a diverse array of cultural and educational institutions have partnered with San Francisco Opera to present lectures and symposia, exhibits, musical performances, film screenings and other events throughout the Bay Area. For more information about San Francisco Opera’s Ring cycle and Ring Festival, visit sfopera.com/ring.
 
 
Ticket Information
 
Single tickets are available for each of the four operas comprising the RingDas Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung—which will be presented in three cycles this summer (June 14–19, June 21–26, and June 28–July 3) at the War Memorial Opera House. Tickets are also available for the San Francisco production premiere of Siegfried on May 29 and the new production premiere of Götterdämmerung on June 5. Full Ring cycle series tickets are also available, with best availability in Cycle 3. With sales for San Francisco Opera’s highly anticipated Ring cycle already reaching 86% of capacity for the three complete cycles, ticket availability is limited.
           
Tickets are available online at sfopera.com or from the San Francisco Opera Box Office either in person or by phone at (415) 864-3330. Standing Room tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on the day of each performance; tickets are $10 each, cash only.