Sunday, July 27, 2014

Bayreuth's next 5 years

Could Katharina Wagner finally be getting her act together?

No sooner is it certain that half-sister Eva Wagner-Pasquier is on her way out at the end of the current season, leaving Katharina in sole charge of Bayreuth from 2015, it appears that someone has at last been doing their homework and hiring directors who know their craft, as well as some top-calibre singers and conductors.

If the sources of Manuel Brug of Die Welt are correct, the long era of mediocre singers and execrable productions could be finally coming to an end on Bayreuth's Green Hill.

OK, we've still got to sit through a few more years of Castorf's Ring.

And we still have the -- on paper at least -- unenticing prospect of Katharina's own new Tristan next year and Jonathan Meese's Parsifal after that.

But at least the musical side of things seems to be looking up. 
Eva-Maria Westbroek and Steven Gould are to sing the title roles in Tristan und Isolde, with Christian Thielemann in the pit.

Andris Nelsons will be conducting Meese's Parsifal and Brug says that Meese has pledged not to resort to his usual "shock" tactics of Hitler salutes. 

But the real excitement begins in 2017 when Barrie Kosky will stage Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg with Philippe Jordan conducting. Michael Volle will sing Hans Sachs a role he already made his own in Stefan Herheim's recent Salzburg production.  Johannes Martin Kränzle will sing Beckmesser and Klaus Florian Vogt Stolzing. Making her debut in the Festspielhaus will be Krassimira Stoyanova as Eva. 

2018 will see a new production of Lohengrin. Thielemann will conduct, Alvis Hermanis will direct and the sets will be by Neo Rauch. And Anna Netrebko will sing Elsa. 

In 2019, there will be a new Tannhäuser, directed this time by young German director Tobias Kratzer. 

And then a new Ring follows in 2020, most likely with Thielemann in the pit. Katharina Wagner, Brug reports, will definitely NOT be directing.

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