Oh, come on. Please.
The fine 'blog Mostly Opera, which I hadn't known of until now, tells me that René Pape has cancelled Sachs in Berlin next year. Our author expresses her hope that Pape isn't having second thoughts about the heavy Wagnerian bass-baritone roles. That is, will he still sing Wotan?
I'll say this, of the last two generations of Wagnerian basses, in my book, only John Tomlinson and René Pape have the pipes and acting ability to carry off roles like Wotan and Hagen. To put it another way, they don't embarrass themselves next to Friedrich Schorr, and often acquit themselves quite well. Tomlinson has proved his ability to sing Wotan (being a standout in Barenboim's Ring, and - moreover - a splendid Hagen for Haitink, in fact, one of the few reasons to seek out that Götterdämmerung). Pape has sung the part of, well, God. Let me justify that, he did the parts of the voice of God in Welser-Möst's recording of Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln* (EMI, 1998).
He can do it. Pape should sing Wotan, preferably at Bayreuth (with an equally outstanding cast), with Peter Schneider, Daniel Barenboim, or James Levine at the stick, and every record company should fall all over themselves to get it. Wishful thinking? Yes. A modern Ring that has a chance? Assuredly. A good idea? Absolutely.
* I really do need to write about Das Buch. I've had it on my mental to-do list ('blog section) for a year now. It's been too long.