Critical bloodbath? First verdicts on Bayreuth’s IS-themed Parsifal

Critical bloodbath? First verdicts on Bayreuth’s IS-themed Parsifal


norman lebrecht

July 26, 2016

After all the fuss and hyper-security, the festival’s opening night was loudly cheered – with exceptional ovations for Bayreuth favourite Klaus Florian Vogt in the title role and for conductor Hartmut Haenchen, who stepped in at three week’s notice for a disaffected Andris Nelsons. Musically, most agreed, the performance was of the highest quality.

But the authoritative FAZ critic Eleanore Buening, in a post-premiere broadcast, called Uwe Eric Laufenberg’s production ‘cheap and cliched’, while  Bernard Neuhoff on Bayerischer Rundfunk found it ‘weakly executed, often boring and not free of kitsch‘. Others dismissed it as ‘provincial’ and full of colonial stereotypes.

The Financial Times calls the production ‘a washout’.

bayreuth parsifal

Critical bloodbath?

photo: BayreuthFestspiel/Enrico Nawrath


  • bluepumpkin says:

    Bayreuth premiere that wasn’t going to be slammed? Not a lot of booing in the audience however. Deutsche Welle talks of a “smattering” of boos. And I thoroughly enjoyed watching it on BRKlassik. Very moving in parts and beautifully lit.

  • Jay kauffman says:

    Once again you pick and choose your sources to support your own agenda. You neglect to mention the many positive reviews the production received But fair and balanced was never on your radar

  • John Borstlap says:

    With new opera productions, be them as conventionally modern as possible, it is generally assumed that they should produce some boo’s, which is supposed to indicate a progressive, forward-looking production with new insights into the work, which inevitably irritate the bourgeois, backward audiences who merely came to have their feeble nerves massaged by nice tunes. ‘We’ll get them!’ the stage directors grin, rubbing their hands. It is difficult to find another field with comparable cliché-ridden attitudes.