British soprano Alwyn Mellor has withdrawn from scheduled performances in Opera North’s Ring for personal reasons.
Alwyn Mellor was due to appear at tour venues in the Company’s upcoming cycles of the Ring, as Sieglinde in Die Walküre and Brünnhilde in Götterdämmerung, roles she performed with Opera North in 2012 and 2014 during individual instalments of the Ring operas.
She has been replaced as Sieglinde by Scottish soprano Lee Bisset. Originally scheduled to perform the role in the first two cycles of the Ring in Leeds, Lee opened in Die Walküre on 30 April, and is also due to sing Third Norn in Götterdämmerung.
Lee Bisset studied at the Royal Scottish Conservatoire, the RNCM, and National Opera Studio, where she was sponsored by ENO. Roles have included Mimì in La boheme (ENO); title role in Tosca (Opera Memphis); title role in Jenůfa (Scottish Opera); Sieglinde, title role Kát’a Kabanová, and Isolde in Tristan and Isolde (all Longborough Festival Opera).
American soprano Kelly Cae Hogan will now give all performances as Brünnhilde in Götterdämmerung. She is already scheduled to sing the role in Leeds, in addition to playing Brünnhilde in all performances of Die Walküre and tour performances of Siegfried.
Her previous roles for Opera North are Brünnhilde Die Walküre (2012) and Lady Macbeth in Verdi’s Macbeth (2014).
Kelly Cae Hogan's previous credits include Brünnhilde and Salome (Virginia Opera); Leonore in Fidelio, Elisabeth in Tannhauser and title role Turandot (Kassel); and the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier, Norma and Salome (Bremen). At the Metropolitan Opera in New York, she has recently sung the title role in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, and previously sang Gerhilde in Die Walküre in both the Robert LePage and Otto Schenk productions.
Richard Mantle, General Director, Opera North, comments:
“Whilst we are sad to announce today that Alwyn Mellor will not be able to join the Ring company for tour dates as originally planned, we are delighted that Kelly Cae Hogan and Lee Bisset have both been able to add these additional performances to their schedules. Kelly and Lee are already integral members of our Ring family; they are both tremendously exciting singers who bring true dramatic focus and emotional intensity to these roles.
“We are especially grateful to Longborough Festival Opera, who have generously released Lee Bisset from upcoming rehearsals to allow her to take on these extra dates.
“We know that many of our audience members were looking forward to seeing Alwyn perform with us again in the Ring. She withdraws from these performances with great regret and with our full support, and we hope very much to bring her back to Opera North again in the future.”
Alwyn Mellor comments:
“It is with much sadness that personal circumstances mean that I need to withdraw from Opera North’s Ring cycles. I am incredibly proud to have been a part of the Opera North Ring: it is a hugely collaborative effort and I know it will be a huge success. The journey will end without me on this occasion but I am confident that it will be a triumph for all involved and memorable both for those who perform it and for those who experience it.”
Conducted by Richard Farnes, in his last appearance as Opera North’s Music Director, and with atmospheric staging and design by Peter Mumford, the Ring is currently running at Leeds Town Hall. After a second cycle in Leeds (23 - 29 May), the full Ring tours to Nottingham Royal Concert Hall, The Lowry in Salford, London’s Royal Festival Hall at Southbank Centre, and Sage Gateshead.
An updated cast list for the Ring can be found at www.theringcycle.co.uk
Images (top - bottom):
Alwyn Mellor as Brünnhilde in Götterdämmerung. Credit: Clive Barda
Lee Bisset as Sieglinde in Die Walküre. Credit: Clive Barda
Kelly Cae Hogan as Brünnhilde in Die Walküre. Credit: Clive Barda