Lyric’s “Tannhäuser” tenor ailing; Ryan Center mezzo makes Cardiff finals

Tue Mar 03, 2015 at 12:35 pm

By Lawrence A. Johnson

J'nai Bridges. Photo: Devon Cass

J’nai Bridges. Photo: Devon Cass

Johan Botha has not sung the title role in the last two performances of Wagner’s Tannhäuser at Lyric Opera. The South African tenor is suffering from a “severe throat infection,” said a Lyric spokeswoman. The cover, Richard Decker, went on in Botha’s place last night and February 26.

Botha has not withdrawn from the production and Lyric says that they “expect him to return” to sing the final Tannhäuser performance on Friday.

In happier Lyric Opera news, Ryan Opera Center member J’nai Bridges has made the finals of the prestigious Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, which will take place in June. The gifted third-year Ryan member is one of three Americans among the twenty finalists, along with soprano Lauren Michelle and bass-baritone Ryan “Speedo” Green. Previous Ryan Center member Nicole Cabell won the Main Prize in 2005.

Bridges is currently appearing in the role of Vlasta in Weinberg’s The Passenger at Lyric.

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