On March 29, at the famed Musikvereinsaal, Zubin Mehta and
the Munich Philharmonic were to set to begin the concert’s second half, the
imposing Das Lied von der Erde of Gustav Mahler.
Minutes before the end of the intermission, the scheduled tenor Thorsten
Kerl suddenly began to experience pain and dizzy spells. Botha, having this
work in his repertory, agreed to help and flagged a cab. He arrived after
baritone Thomas Hampson had already began the symphonic song cycle. He sang the
three tenor movements and the audience rewarded Mehta, Hampson and Botha with
“thunderous cheers” according to the Viennese press.
Thomas Hampson [Photo courtesy of Centre Stage Artist Management]
Kerl has recovered from his indisposition and the Gesellschaft der
Musikfreunde (Society for Friends of Music) has another anecdote for their
200th anniversary year.
product_title=Mishap at the Musikfreunde
product_by=By Frank Cadenhead
product_id=Above: Johan Bothan [Photo courtesy of Michael Lewin International Artists’ Management]