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Subject: Vickers and Tannhauser (was Re: RIP Jon Vickers, 7/11/2017)
From: "Max D. Winter" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Max D. Winter
Date:Wed, 12 Jul 2017 12:36:38 -0400

text/plain (35 lines)

Rich Lowenthal wrote:

"I continue to be curious about Vickers's refusal to sing Tannhauser--he was contracted to 
sing it at both the Met and Covent Garden but canceled, calling the role 'despicable, 
arrogant and amoral.' "

This subject has been discussed at length on several occasions on this List.  See this:

Jeannie Williams' excellent bio of Vickers offers the best and most complete discussion of 
this subject.  And Vickers himself, in several interviews, explained his reasons, which were 
far more complex than simply finding the character of Tannhauser "immoral."  (The tessitura 
of the part undoubtably was a factor as well, although he never said so.) 

Incidentally, re Steve B.'s post on this thread, it was Walter Legge, not Schwarzkopf, who 
made the crack about "screwing his sister."  Schwarzkopf merely quoted Legge's remark 
(made in a letter to Robert Jacobson) in her anthology of Legge's writings, "On and Off the 

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