Barenboim conducts first opera in his home town

Barenboim conducts first opera in his home town


norman lebrecht

July 10, 2018

It’s Tristan und Isolde tomorrow at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires.

At 75, Daniel Barenboim will finally conduct an opera in the town where he was born.


  • J. J. says:

    He is NOT directing Teatro Colon’s Orquesta Estable. He is NOT directing a Teatro Colon production.
    He is directing the Staatskapelle Berlin, Staatsoper Unter den Linden production by Harry Kupfer (2000) with guest singers… in a building-for-hire formerly known as Teatro Colon.

    • Bill says:

      But everything stated in NL’s text (at least as it appears now, not sure if it has been altered) is correct. Such a rare occasion is cause for celebration!

  • Sue says:

    Eric Kleiber’s old ‘alma mater’.

    I have friends who have sailed their own yacht around The Horn and been to Buenos Aires and both say it’s an absolutely beautiful city seldom discussed in those terms.

    • Olassus says:

      Must have been cold and choppy going around The Horn, as your intrepid friends risked their lives and their property getting to Buenos Aires.

    • White noise says:

      A fascinating comment. What did they have for breakfast?

      • Max Grimm says:

        Mother’s Pride and processed cheese??

      • Sue says:

        Presumably the same thing they had for breakfast when sailing vast amounts of the world’s oceans in said yacht (not all that big either). She was inclined to seasickness but the captain, her husband, absolutely loved the adventure.

  • MacroV says:

    Would be interesting to see it. The Teatro Colon is renowned worldwide for its great acoustics. I never hear much about its orchestra, but given the high standard we’re seeing worldwide these days, I bet it’s a lot better than many people might assume. And Barenboim certainly knows his way around the score.

  • Elena Aguirre says:

    Desafortunadamente, el Sr. Barenboim no dirigirá la Orquesta Estable del Teatro Colón, sino la STAATSKAPELLE BERLIN. Barenboim nunca quiso dirigir las orquestas argentinas porque las considera de bajo nivel. Esto no es así, grandes solistas y directores han tocado con las dos orquestas del Teatro Colón, pero la arrogancia y el mal genio de Barenboim le impiden reconocerlo.

    Unfortunately, Mr. Barenboim will not direct the Stable Orchestra of the Teatro Colón, but the STAATSKAPELLE BERLIN. Barenboim never wanted to direct the Argentine orchestras because he considers them to be of low level. This is not so, great soloists and directors have played with the two orchestras of the Teatro Colón, but Barenboim’s arrogance and bad temper prevent him from recognizing it.

  • Steven Hill says:

    It is a fine house, but when I lived there the policy was to start every performance at 20:00. I saw Die Walküre which ended well after midnight!

  • Patrick says:

    It is a beautiful house with committed, passionate performances – I’ve been to operas and concerts there several times. The acoustics are spectacular – even the Atos Trio could be heard perfectly in that huge “seven-layered cake”. They say the best sound is at the top, but it’s quite good throughout.

  • Don Ciccio says:

    I suppose one can say that this is indeed the first time that Barenboim conducts a full opera at Teatro Colon. However, according to the database ( he conducted the Prelude, Second Act and Isolde’s Death from Tristan in 2014. That was a concert version.

    Note that neither in 2014, nor now is Barenboim leading La Orquesta Estable del Teatro Colón (the pit band). In 2014 he was conducting the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and now the Staatskapelle Berlin.

    The theater itself is splendid after the renovation and the acoustics is indeed fabulous. And don’t miss the Cadore Ice Cream shop on Corrientes, a five-ten minutes walk from the theater (also on Corrientes and close to it there is Pizzeria Guerrin; the pizza is OK but the empanadas are to die for).

    • MacroV says:

      I guess the Staatakappele has to tour, but it would seem more interesting if he were conducting the house orchestra.

    • Elena Aguirre says:

      That’s right, but it was with the Orquesta del Teatro Alla Scala de Milan, with which Aida also gave a concert version.

  • Rosemary Forbes-Butler says:

    == would seem more interesting if he were conducting the house orchestra

    I guess that would have needed lots of rehearsal from scratch, and DB is mighty busy !

  • Caravaggio says:

    Who are we kidding? Architecture and acoustics aside, artistically the Colón is a long shadow of its former self.

    • kaa12840 says:

      Indeed, the couple of times I have been there there did not seem to be a very active season; in fact the Colon was used to open a Conference of medical research there, so obviously the City was using it for something totally outside music and opera

    • MacroV says:

      I don’t know. But these days there are terrific orchestras in surprising places, all over the world. And it would be cool to see Barenboim direct a full production at the Colon with the house orchestra, etc.. Worse places to be than in BA during July, no?

  • Susan says:

    According to rumour, Rattle and the LSO there next year!

  • Joseph McGuire says:

    The performance from BA, Argentina on Saturday is going to be webcast. Here is everything you need to know about that…

    Saturday July 14 at 18h in Buenos Aires, 5pm Eastern 4 CT. 2pm Pacific, 22h London 23h CET, midnight FI/IL/Moscow…on Sunday 5h Beijing, 6h Tokyo 7h Sydney, 9h NZ with the Staatskapelle Berlin with Barenboim HERE:

    Peter Seiffert
    Anja Kampe*
    Iréne Theorin**
    Kwangchul Youn
    Boaz Daniel
    Gustavo López Manzitti
    Angela Denoke
    Florian Hoffmann
    Adam Kutny