Breaking: Bayreuth finds a Parsifal conductor

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.’



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  • 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.

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

      • 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.

    • 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.

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

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

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