First pic of Bayreuth’s male Brünnhilde

August 29, 2017 by norman lebrecht


This is the curtain call at the end of last night’s Götterdämmerung, the closing show of the season.

Catherine Foster hurt her foot at the end of the first act and her role was bravely played out on stage for the next two acts by assistant director Andreas Rosar, decked out in gold lamé.

photo: Erwin Messer/Bayreuth Festspiele

Next year, the role of Brünnhilde will be advertised as being open to men and women.

Comments (22)

  1. Mario Lutz says:

    I’m not so sure Norman, about the genre issue for Brunhilde…. but I’m sure that next Ring will be staged by Andreas Rosar…

  2. Ungeheuer says:

    Hardly amusing

  3. Grace says:

    I want my warrior princess, not a warrior prince.

  4. herrera says:

    Why is Brunnhilde in gold lamé?
    Why are Nordic Gods eating from a Turkish food truck?

    1. John Borstlap says:

      Bründhild is in gold because he is a nasty capitalist financing the Bayreuth Festival.

      The Gods are eating from a Turkish truck because they have lost their culture to illegal immigrants voting for the AfD.

    2. Furzwängler says:

      I blame Brexit.

    3. You have asked the right question.

    4. Sixtus says:

      At this point in the second act, there aren’t any Nordic gods on stage. Just Brunnhilde (who lost her divinity two operas earlier), Hagen and his food-trailer-trash cronies, the Gibichungs.

  5. Robert Holmén says:

    Actually, he was chasing a rabbit and didn’t know he was onstage until it was too late.

    1. Madeleine Crouch says:

      Kill the wabbit!

  6. Old Man in the Midwest says:

    Das is kein Mann!

  7. Max Grimm says:

    Second time this year at Bayreuth. Isolde was also, albeit very very briefly, played by a man:

  8. Sue says:

    In Australia the gender lobby has identified 26 separate, previously unrecognized genders, so I think anything works for Bayreuth if you look at it that way. (I’ve had a dull life!)

      1. Sue says:

        As I’ve said elsewhere before, “I’ve had a dull life”!!!

        1. Max Grimm says:

          I initially didn’t think that I’d had a dull life but after reading that list, I must have been mistaken.

          1. Sue says:

            LOL. Three genders in a day, instead of meals!!

  9. boringfileclerk says:

    Anyone who thinks this kind of thing is new, hasn’t been to Germany.

  10. Jane Susanna Ennis says:

    You have rather missed the point. Not everyone in the audience realised at first that the sub was a man, and in any case he wasn’t ask to sing, just to mime. He did very well, and it was an ingenious solution to the problem.

    1. André Weiss says:

      Yes! And I’m sure it was extremely convenient, because as an assistant director he already memorized all the staging. I’m not sure what the big deal is.

  11. Bogda says:

    Assistant stepped in at the last minute to help the production continue. Foster had an accident during the Act 1 curtain call, and bravely decided to continue to sing the rest of the show from a wheelchair, clearly under lot of pain. Apart from few iditots, audience was delighted that Festival managed to find a solution to continue the performance and let us hear one of the best Brunnhildes of our time. Rosar’s performance was very decent and contained with no hints of a drag as some comments migth lead you to believe. Had there been no short large screen close up of his face, majority would not even notice Brunnhilde was played by a guy.

  12. Theodore McGuiver says:

    Andreas has also previously stood in for Robert Dean Smith during Act III of the Tristan dress in 2012. He’s a pro.

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