Upbeat: Violent passion

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The Independent Culture
OFFICIALS at the Hohenems Schubertiade festival in Austria are playing down the significance of reports that Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau abandoned a concert appearance after a woman in his audience for a lecture shouted that he was 'a murderer', Andrew Green writes. That the incident happened (during a session on Fischer-Dieskau's new book about Reichardt) is not in question. Nor is the fact that the baritone left for Berlin without appearing in his second concert in the festival, singing Schubert songs with orchestra. Olaf Bar replaced him.

Schubertiade spokesman Karl Frei anxiously insists the two elements in the story are not connected. 'Mr Fischer-Dieskau did not appear in his second concert because he had a bad cold.' Frei confirmed, though, that Fischer-Dieskau informed the festival of his cancellation only after his return to Berlin.

As to the lecture incident? 'The problem was with a woman who we understand has been a great fan of Mr Fischer-Dieskau over many years. We believe she felt he had not shown enough recognition of this - she was saying she would die because of that, or something. But what can he do? He has thousands of fans, as you know. But this incident did not upset him at all.'