Met Opera's `Tristan' Interrupted Again

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Metropolitan Opera's revival of Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde" can't make it through a performance without turmoil.

For the second straight performance, the opera was interrupted in mid-act, this time because of scenery.

The bedlike part of the raked set Gary Lehman was stretched out on slid at the start of the third act Tuesday night, and the tenor slid into the prompter's box, Met spokesman Brent Ness said.

The opera was stopped while Lehman was examined by a doctor, who cleared him to continue. The performance then resumed.

Trouble with the six-performance run began when tenor Ben Heppner came down with a virus, canceling his first four performances. John Mac Master, his cover singer, replaced him in the March 10 opener and received mostly negative reviews, and Lehman made his Met debut last Friday opposite Deborah Voigt, who sang Isolde.

Voigt felt ill with a stomach ailment during the second act of Friday's performance, which was stopped so she could be replaced by Janice Baird, her cover singer, who made her Met debut.

Robert Dean Smith will make his Met debut as Tristan for Saturday's matinee, which will be telecast in high-definition to theaters worldwide.

Heppner hopes to return for the final two nights, on March 25 and March 28.


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