Monday, July 09, 2018

PARSIFAL at the Bavarian State Opera

There is a new production of Parsifal at the Bavarian State Opera. It features a stellar cast of Wagnerians: Jonas Kaufmann in the title role, Nina Stemme as Kundry and René Pape as Gurnemanz. Kirill Petrenko leads the orchestra of the Staatsoper.  The production, directed by Pierre Audi, features sets and costumes by famed German artist Georg Baselitz. Today you can watch a re-broadcast of yesterday's performance for free.  Go HERE for more details.  Enjoy!

Friday, July 06, 2018

Piotr Beczała will sing LOHENGRIN at Bayreuth

Piotr Beczała has accepted the challenge of taking over the title role in the new Bayreuth production of Lohengrin, after Roberto Alagna walked away from the Green Hill claiming that he was not ready to sing the role.  The following was posted on Mr. Beczała's website:

The last few days were full of excitement and doubts, but the decision has been made. Piotr agreed to take over the role of Lohengrin at the famous Wagner’s festival. Now he has 3 weeks of rehearsals left before his big debut at the Bayreuth Festival, where he will also be the first Polish singer in a title role.

Piotr sang Lohengrin at the Dresden Semperoper in 2016 alongside Anna Netrebko, and under the current conductor Christian Thielemann. This acclaimed production was later released on DVD.

This performance has been posted on YouTube:


Piotr accepted the assignment on a short notice and was forced to cancel some of his scheduled performances. In a statement on his social media profiles, the artist wrote:

Dear Friends!
As you may have just read, I am taking over the title role in Richard Wagner’s “Lohengrin” at this year’s Bayreuth Festival. I am of course extremely excited to make my Bayreuth debut this year, and to collaborate again with Christian Thielemann and so many wonderful colleagues.

But with all the excitement, I also want to tell you that this has been a very difficult decision for me. I know I am disappointing many of you who were planning to see me in other cities around the world. Please know that I hate nothing more than disappointing you, dear friends. I can only hope for your understanding that this is such a very special situation and promise to make it up to you in the future! I want to thank all the wonderful cultural institutions who understood this and helped me to get to Bayreuth. And I want to thank you, dear friends, for your love and support, always. See you very soon! Piotr

The fans of the artist were very supportive and Piotr received hundreds of comments and private messages of congratulations and encouragement for which he was very grateful.

The new production of Lohengrin is created by director Yuval Sharon and conductor Christian Thielemann, the stage design comes from the well-known artist couple Neo Rauch and Rosa Loy. The premiere will take place on July 25th.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Alagna is out of Bayreuth's new LOHENGRIN

 Roberto Alagna has withdrawn from Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin at the Bayreuth Festival. The festival announced that the tenor, who was set to make his festival debut and sing his first Wagner role, withdrew from the festival due to "work overload." The statement also noted that Alagna was unable to spend enough time with the role.

In other words, the July 25 opening night of this opera is almost here, and he has not learned the role.

The festival has yet to announce a replacement, but the remaining cast members remain the same. Alagna will next perform at the Metropolitan Opera where he will open the season singing the title role in Samson et Dalila. The tenor will also perform Andrea Chénier at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Otello  at the Opéra National de Paris, Luisa Miller in Opera de Monte Carlo, and La Traviata in Paris.

Meanwhile, the Bayreuth Festival opens on July 25 with Christian Thielemann conducting this new production of Lohengrin, which currently has no tenor. Director Yuval Sharon will become the first American to direct at Bayreuth. Scheduled singers Anja Harteros and Waltraud Meier are still scheduled to perform.