Bayreuth leaks an Australian breakthrough

During the catastrophic stage glitch that forced her to clear the Festpielhaus 20 minutes into opening night, Katharina Wagner sought to placate the media with details of her next few seasons.

2015 Nothing new.

2016 The director Jonathan Meese, who has faced criminal charges for incitement, has pledged not to introduce Nazi symbols in Parsifal.

2017 Barrie Kosky, director of Berlin’s Komische Opera, will stage Meistersinger. He’s ambivalent about Bayreuth but says ‘there’s no escaping Wagner’. Kosky is thought to be the first Aussie to direct on the Green Hill (a breakthrough oddly unreported by Aussie  media)



2018 New Lohengrin with Anna Netrebko as Elsa

2019 New Tannhäuser, conducted by ‘young international maestro’

2020 New Ring, probably conducted by Thielemann.

There you have it. No more surprises.


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  • Barrie Kosky is one of the most talented and experienced directors working in Germany today. Although Australian by birth, he’s German by culture, and he’s steeped in Germany’s language and culture. He’s confirmed the Komische’s role as the powerhouse of modern opera production in Germany – adept both at directing, and at producing too.

    Die Meistersinger’s central theme is what the true culture of Germany should be – Sachs and the Masters talk continuously about this theme. I am sure Barrie Kosky will deliver in spades on this theme – a fine decision from the Bayreuth management.

  • Isn’t Katharina doing Tristan in 2015? That’s been announced. Your rundown shows nothing new in 2015. Or has the Tristan been canceled?

  • Should the voice last by then, an Elsa ugly-ly intoned à la Rysanek? Or should the body shape last by then, an Elsa as vixen? Think I’ll pass, thank you very much.

  • One day we might have Wagner’s works directed by people who actually like them. Now that would be a surprising development!

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