Thielemann should go global, says Theiler

Thielemann should go global, says Theiler


norman lebrecht

July 09, 2015

Excuse the name confusion. There will be lots more of this if the two men manage to get on.

Peter Theiler is the new Swiss intendant of the Semper Oper, where Christian Thielemann is music director.

Theiler says it’s time to internationalise Dresden.

Thielemann prefers the German model.

Maybe it won’t last all that long.

semper oper dresden


  • Simon S. says:

    Thielemann doesn’t seem to care so much for Dresden anyway. Next season, he won’t conduct a single premiere there, but two elsewhere (Vienna and Salzburg).

  • Paul Thomason says:

    Your constant and—I”m guessing, because it is constant—deliberate error in Thielemann’s title with the Staatskapelle Dresden undercuts the credibility of your facts in anything to do with the conductor. He is not music director of the Semper Opera, but chief conductor of the Staateskapelle. But then, you know that. You just keep posting erroneous information.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      De facto, it’s the same.

      • Erich says:

        Sorry Norman. It isn’t. Legally he has absolutely no jurisdiction over the running of the opera. They unfortunately defer to him just to have a quiet life (and they haven’t even achieved that!) and that is why they fail to attract any Intendant of real calibre for the post. The orchestra remains adamant that he should not receive the title of GMD and so it us likely to remain.

      • Max Grimm says:

        It is not the same. Dresden has two titles that you may see on a contract in regard to a ‘conductor in charge’. One is “Chefdirigent des Sächsischen Staatskapelle Dresden” (Chief Conductor of the Staatskapelle) and the other is “Generalmusikdirektor der Sächsischen Staatsoper Dresden” (General Music Director of the Saxon State Opera). While Fabio Luisi held both titles, GMD of the State Opera and Chief Conductor of the Staatskapelle, Christian Thielemann is “only” Chief Conductor of the Staatskapelle.
        Getting ones way and being a successful machinator does not turn an orchestra’s Chief Conductor into an opera house’s GMD.

        • Max Grimm says:

          One caveat* and one correction**:

          *By writing “Dresden” in my second sentence, I was of course referring to the Staatsoper and the Staatskapelle only, not the other orchestras in Dresden (Dresdner Philharmonie, Dresdner Sinfoniker, Sinfonietta Dresden, etc.)

          **Chefdirigent der Sächsischen Staatskapelle Dresden

      • Simon S. says:

        Yeah, but only de facto, and that’s the problem: Thielemann holds maximum power with minimum accountability.

        Nobody will ever succeed in doing anything against Thielemann’s will, but if things go wrong, it’s not his fault.

  • PDQ.BACH says:

    Now this could get interesting.
    At the link given above by Norman, Theiler is quoted as intent on emphasising modern and contemporary music, with a particular nod to composers discriminated by the Nazis as “Entartete Musik”, including contemporaries of Wagner and Strauss.

    If Thielemann has any nous, he should get along with this shift, “pour se refaire une virginité”, ideologically speaking.

    At any rate, Theiler in the interview sounds like he believes he can dodge Thielemann. Either he’s daydreaming, or he has more cunning than he’s credited for.

    • Erich says:

      Those who have tried…be they in Berlin, Munich, Dresden, Salzburg or Bayreuth – form part of an honourable club of CT’s: Casualties of Thielemann. Bon chance, Herr Theiler!

  • Herrera says:

    Is it wrong to champion German music? Is it wrong to be the champion of German music? Is is wrong to be German, championing German music, in Germany?

    God forbid Muti conducts yet another Verdi opera in Italy or Gergiev another Prokofiev in Russia or Michael Tilson Thomas another Charles Ives in the US or William Christie another Charpentier in France (oh, right, Christie is an American transplant, so he’s off the hook).

    • william osborne says:

      To combine a strong promotion of German music with reactionary political views brings forth unpleasant memories.

    • PDQ.BACH says:

      ” Is it wrong to champion German music? Is it wrong to be the champion of German music? Is is wrong to be German, championing German music, in Germany? ”

      In a word: YES.
      Because: History.

  • laurids says:

    What does ‘reactionary political views’ mean? Please elaborate.
    The far right in the US and in Israel represent great swathes of the population,
    and in Israel the government itself. Germany is a much less extreme place
    politically and socially than either of the above, its loony-bins Right is marginal at best.
    Please tell just what is so dreadful about Thielemann’s political views, providing proof.
    You make him sound like a run-of-the-mill Israeli or Yank.