The epic race to the South Pole between Britain’s Robert Falcon Scott and Norway’s Roald Amundsen has all the ingredients of an operatic tragedy. The rival expeditions in the early 20th century are at the heart of “South Pole,” a new opera staged by Hans Neuenfels.

A world-class cast hit the stage for the world premiere at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, with baritone Thomas Hampson as Amundsen and tenor Rolando Villazón as Scott.

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In song, you have one of the most amazing diaries of any generation’s culture at a given time.

Thomas Hampson