Breaking: Bayreuth finds a Parsifal conductor

Breaking: Bayreuth finds a Parsifal conductor


norman lebrecht

July 05, 2016

The festival has signed Hartmut Haenchen to take over the new production from Andris Nelsons, who walked out.

Haenchen, 73, is vastly experienced and a safe pair of hands.

Former music director of Dutch National Opera, he has never been on Bayreuth’s calling list before.

Katharina Wagner said: ‘Ich bin Maestro Haenchen sehr dankbar, dass er sich kurzfristig bereit erklärte, das Dirigat der Neuproduktion zu übernehmen und freue mich auf sein erstes Mitwirken bei den Bayreuther Festspielen.’




  • John Borstlap says:

    Haenchen takes quite a risk – given the acoustical pecularities of the theatre and Mr T running around. But he is probably the best of chances…. His Wagner at the Netherlands Opera was great, albeit on the cool side, but that was interesting: without sacrifice to expression and lyricism, the classicist aspects of the music came more to the fore.

    • Sue says:

      I don’t understand why they need another conductor when CT is “running around”. Isn’t CT the boss, after all?

      • AB says:

        It is quite easy: if CT would take over the production, it would look like that he mobbed Nelsons in order to push him out and get his production.

  • Pedro says:

    He has also conducted a superb Parsifal in Brussrls. The Castelucci production. A DVD exists.

  • Olassus says:


    Thanks, Norman, for delivering the news.

  • Theodore McGuiver says:

    HH is excellent. He should do very well in BT.

    • John Borstlap says:

      I am grateful for his sticking-out his neck with a difficult piece of mine with the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra years ago for which he was punished by a condemning press. He has been too musical for Holland.

  • PeterR says:

    Not only a fine Wagnerian conductor Haenchen is also strong willed enough not to put up with Thielemann’s BS.

    • John Borstlap says:

      My two German flies on the wall informed me that HH takes a hockey stick with him, next to an extra baton.