Bayreuth’s next director is a MacArthur genius

Bayreuth’s next director is a MacArthur genius


norman lebrecht

October 11, 2017

The first American to direct an opera at Bayreuth has been named among this year’s recipients of a $625,000 MacArthur ‘genius award.

Yuval Sharon, 37, was called in to replace Alvis Hermanis at next summer’s Lohengrin, conducted by Christian Thielemann.

His closest conductor collaborations so far have been with Franz Welser-Möst in Cleveland and Gustavo Dudamel in LA.

The other MacArthur winners this year are listed here.



  • Helene Kamioner says:

    I may be mistaken but I believe Mr. Sharon has his roots in Israel and holds Israeli citizenship..

    • Dr.Helga Wall-Apelt says:

      That makes it double- triple worth while for
      Yuval Sharon to direct a Wagner Opera in Bayreuth. There are ignorant people out there who believe that Wagner and Hitler shared breakfast together. To remedy this dangerous stupidity check their date of birth and death. Or call
      Zubin Mehta: he will quickly cure you from your miserable disease!

    • Scotty says:

      He was born in Chicago, so he is American. His parents were Israeli. Most likely he holds dual citizenship.

  • ACHIM SIEBEN says:

    Congratulations! He staged his first Wagner opera in Karlsruhe. You can watch his Die Walküre there on 29th of March, 6th or 31 of May 2018 conducted by Justin Brown our general music director. 

  • RW2013 says:

    “Expanding how opera is performed and experienced through immersive, multisensory, and mobile productions that are infusing a new vitality into the genre.” he says.
    Can’t wait.
    Although almost anything is better than Hermanis.

  • esfir ross says:

    What an irony-with Israeli roots , the country that forbid to play R.Wagner music Yval Sharon except position in town of famous anti-Semite.

  • George Marcus says:

    Wish him all the success!
    I am convinced it will be great.
    I hope we will not hear “I am Lohengrin” as we heard recently “I am Aida! (sic).

  • Analeck Kram-Hammerbauer says:

    A Nazi has been replaced with a Jew. Great job, Wagner!

    • Max Grimm says:

      Before Mr. Sharon, it was Barrie Kosky (also Jewish) and before Mr. Kosky, Uwe Eric Laufenberg in 2016, who isn’t Jewish but in no way a Nazi.

      • Analeck Kram-Hammerbauer says:

        Alvis Hermanis is the man who got replaced by Yuval Sharon. And you can research for the reason behind this decision.

        • Max Grimm says:

          Hermanis’ views are well known and require no further research.
          Bayreuth however never signed a contract with Hermanis. They were engaged in talks and it never got past preliminary negotiations with him.
          Mr. Sharon has been the “official” choice for a year now.

  • Dr. Helga Wall -Apelt says:

    Wagner was never a Nazi. I exlplained this in a previous comment. But for some strange , unknown reason my notes were never printed.

    • Analeck Kram-Hammerbauer says:

      Wagner was never a Nazi because the party was founded after his death???
      Didn’t he greatly “inspire” the leading figure of the Nazi?
      And what about the other Wagners who were benefiter and complices of the Nazi?