A year ago, the Bayreuth Festival had first call on three most sought-after conductors in Europe: Kirill Petrenko, Andris Nelsons and Christian Thielemann.
Now, they have one.
Ever since Thielemann was named music director by the festival’s chief, Katharina Wagner, relations with his two colleagues have been unsettled. Petrenko ruled out further cooperation with Bayreuth, blaming the festival for an overload of summer work. Andris Nelsons quit yesterday.
It is clear from all the leaks we are receiving that Nelsons’s walkout was provoked by Thielemann’s uncalled-for interference in his Parsifal preparations. Nelsons is generally an easygoing man. Thielemann is not.
Thielemann, however, has refused to take over Parsifal himself. Bayreuth is now ringing around for a credible replacement.
There is no sign that Petrenko or Nelsons will return any time soon.