The respected helden baritone falls victim to Alberich’s curse giving Warwick Fyfe a chance to steal the Rheingold.

German-born Australian baritone John Wegner is the latest to fall victim to the curse of the Niebelung’s ring, withdrawing from Opera Australia’s Melbourne production due to ill health. The company announced the cast change on Twitter yesterday.

The loss of the popular Wegner will be a particular blow to his fans, many of who missed out on seeing him in OA’s Toscaearlier in the year when flu forced him to pull out of the latter part of the run.

With three weeks to go until opening, the role of Alberich will be sung by Warwick Fyfe who was last seen in sterling form as Verdi’s Falstaff earlier in the year. Fyfe was due to sing the role of Donner but has been covering the part of Alberich (the dwarf who causes all the trouble in the first place) from the start of the project.

Melbourne-born baritone Andrew Moran steps up to fill Fyfe’s shoes as the god of thunder and storms in Das Rheingold. Moran was last seen as Fra Melitone in La forza del destino. In addition, Wegner was covering Terje...