Is Christian Thielemann now chief in Bayreuth?

He missed out on the Berlin Phil – and that hurts.

But Bayreuth may have compensated Thielemann with a new title.

Here’s what has gone up in the parking lot.

bayreuth parking

‘Reserviert für Musikdirektor C. Thielemann’

Until now, apparently, the parking spots were just marked with ‘Dirigenten’ and ‘Festspielleitung’. Now, it has been personalised and dignified with a title.

 

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  • It reminds me of the notice on a toilet at Bayreuth: “Reserviert an Herrn von Karajan”. Knappertsbusch added an ‘s’ plus ‘Arsch’.

    • Wolfgang Wagner tells the story a little differently in his memoirs („Lebens-Akte“, Albrecht-Knaus-Verlag, München 1994, p. 190):

      « When Karajan came for the first time to Bayreuth and had one of the two artists’ toilets marked at once for his personal use (“Für Herrn von Karajan”), an irate Knappertsbusch inscribed on the door of the ‘free’ toilet:

      Für die anderen Arschlöcher” »

      [my translation]

      Now for the really ironic coda to this anecdote:
      Thielemann, in his book “Mein Leben mit Wagner”, quotes the first part of the story; but not the second. How Freudian, not so say anally retentive, can you get?

  • This has been on the cards for some time and was one of the main causes of his falling out with Eva – because she totally opposed it.
    It was therefore doubly galling that on the day Petrenko was named as BPO chief, he also had his first rehearsal in Bayreuth where Thielemann, in his new ‘position’, was forced to greet the orchestra before the rehearsal!

  • One used to see Thielemann’s Porsche, Gatti’s Audi, Petrenko’s and Weigle’s VWs parked along that wall. No idea where the others park, now. Amongst the polloi, no doubt…

    • Richard Wagner parked his bicycle against the wall on the left side of the Festspielhaus with a small ‘Tuete’ over the saddle to keep it dry – it was always raining during his Festpiele.

  • Actually, now I come to think of it, the news broke officially after Petrenko had rehearsed the first act of Walküre with the orchestra. He was applauded when he went back that afternoon to rehearse Act II. He played it down, just said ‘Das macht Mut’ and started conducting.

  • With a month to go before the Bayreuth Festival opens, Anja Kampe has pulled out of singing Isolde in Katharina Wagner’s ‘Tristan und Isolde’ (let’s not call it Richard’s).

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