Bayreuth cries out: Lend me a tenor

Bayreuth cries out: Lend me a tenor


norman lebrecht

July 02, 2018

Finding a Lohengrin in less than a week is a major first-world crisis.

Klaus Florian Vogt, Bayreuth’s last Lohengrin, is this year’s Stolzing in Meistersinger.

Jonas Kaufmann, his predecessor, is Parsifal at the moment in the Munich Festival.

Piotr Beczala will be the next phone call.

But is he free?

He has a Boheme in Tanglewood midJuly, followed by Luisa Miller in Barcelona.

He would be, of course, the first Pole to sing a title role in Bayreuth.


  • Stuart says:


  • Nik says:

    Beczala is busy with Luisa Miller in Barcelona and Boheme in Tanglewood.
    Christopher Ventris seems to have a free summer and has just sung Lohengrin in Vienna last month. He would be the obvious choice.

    • Vienna calling says:

      Christoper Ventris cancelled Lohengrin in Vienna and is currently in Tokyo for Freischütz.

  • RW2013 says:

    Brian Jagde

  • Caravaggio says:

    Franz Völker hologram

  • Sanity says:

    Oh, come on. There are lots of possible candidates. Chris Ventris is one. Stuart Skelton is another. Brandon Jovanovich. Daniel Johanson.

    • Meal says:

      Brandon Jovanovich will be in Salzburg. Daniel Johanson is going to hold a Meisterkurs in July and has some appointments in August. Although he might a replacement for the letter one I think he can’t take over. Stuart Skelton has to sing Tristan in Australia. I don’t think that they will let him go. But if they find a replacement for him in Australia … In summary: There might be a lot of possible candidates but finding one appropriate who is also available will be very difficult.

  • Helene Kamioner says:

    Gregory Kunde?

  • Edgar says:

    Never waste a Bayreuth crisis….;-)

  • Rob Jackson says:

    Maybe this new production will be yet another Bayreuth nightmare and no one wants “in”….. I think Justin Bieber is available.

    • Meal says:

      Well, maybe Justin Bieber should not be the first choice. He resembles Alagna in short time cancelling, he cancelled the last concerts of his good selling world tour last year for unclear reasons (cf. In addition he stated that he will not perform in public until his next album is ready.

  • rosa says:

    Piotr Beczala will sing ‘Luisa MIller’ in Barcelona in July 2019.

  • Selim says:

    Gregory Kunde, Brian Jagde… Such crazy ideas, haha!

    • RW2013 says:

      The joke is on you Selim.
      Brian is learning it to sing in (secret) in 20(secret).

      • Nik says:

        That may be the case. It is also completely irrelevant since they need a replacement THIS WEEK.
        That means somebody who has sung the part before, knows it in and out and can jump into a new production with little rehearsal time.

  • AMetFan says:

    Given Piotr’s dislike (disdain) of trashy productions, I doubt he is clamoring to take on the task. He has been very vocal on the subject in the past. It’s not as if he doesn’t have work…

  • David H Spence says:

    Piotr Beczala, good on a number of mostly fairly old dvd’s is a real mediocrity now. Who heard the post-Lohengrin Luisa Miller from the Met just now, that basically consisted of much indiscriminate strained throaty yelling throughout just about all of it? It was a spectacle I would never care to revisit. Why not settle for Wurm if Rodolfo is really as much of a boor as is Beczala’s? The clipping during the great duet between the other two leading principals also seriously left something to be desired, including no less de Billy’s full allowance for this.

  • db says:

    Silly question, certainly: don’t they have understudies in Bayreuth?

  • simonelvladtepes says:

    Beczala said he’s not touching Lohengrin again, and to my ears he doesn’t have the heft for the role. Lohengrin does require some heft, even though lyrics have sang it. I can’t think of any lyric right now who did it regularly. Same story with Gedda – did it once in 1966 in the tiny ROH in Stockholm and didn’t touch it again. (I suppose one has to exclude loud lyrics from this rule like Heppner and Botha.)