Bayreuth flutters Netrebko’s Elsa

Bayreuth flutters Netrebko’s Elsa


norman lebrecht

July 25, 2018

Having refused to appear in tonight’s new Lohengrin, Anna Netrebko will sing two performances next summer – according to Katharina Wagner.

Anna knows the role, having sung it with Beczala and Thielemann at Dresden (below).

Whether she will do it again is another matter.

Bayreuth’s bookies are not taking bets.

Angela Merkel is expected tonight. She has seen a few Elsas in her time.


  • Barry Guerrero says:

    Interesting. Thanks.

  • Bogda says:

    She has published herself front page of her contract with Bayreuth long time ago on social media. So not really a mystery. On the other side big surprise is that she will do only two shows. That’s ridiculous.

  • Caravaggio says:

    Two demerits against a Netrebko Elsa: 1. German language analphabet; 2. Voice and pitch are total wrecks. Neither assets for a successful Elsa. But when Bayreuth hires Plácido Domingo to conduct, you already know they have lost their way. Time for regime change before too late.

    • urania says:

      Too late…it might already be so, though time is nonexistent in Wagner’s art. Anyhow Katharina Wagner will stay as long as Angela Merkel does stay – both belong to a ‘group’ which is very ‘basic’ German. Of course without Thielemann things might have been already different but both together and the connection with Berlin??? Old karmic family business 😉 ! KW is also professor at Freie Universität I guess.

    • Bogda says:

      and another groundless and ridiculous Netrebko bashing post

      Even though she used promoters in Dresden, her German diction was almost unanimously praised by German press, and was better than most other Elsa’s around. The same goes for her performance.

      • Olassus says:

        Callas used prompters. Even told them to prompt more loudly.

        • Caravaggio says:

          Yes but Callas fully understood and spoke the language she was singing in. Thus she could and did put invaluable investment in words. Not Netrebko. Besides, her heavy, laden, dark voice coupled with wayward pitch do not lend themselves to the role any longer. And yes, foremost, she remains German analphabet so what she may sing will mean nothing to her or to anyone.

          • Bogda says:

            Following your “analphabet” argument, basically no one in the West would be able to sing a meaningful Onegin, or Godunov, or not to mention Rusalka or any Janaček?!?!

  • Bogda says:

    What merits for a scandal here is that they’ve booked her only for two performances. This should not be happening. If she does not want to commit to the whole run, she should not be singing there.

  • Marcus Clayton says:

    I am always baffled by the various rumors and stories surrounding Netrebko and Lohengrin. I could swear that I read somewhere that after the Dresden performances she said she would never do the role again and that she would also never do another role in German. Now we are seeing rumors that she will do Lohengrin and Salome at the Met in future seasons.
    So, will she or won’t she appear at Bayreuth next summer?

  • Martain Smith says:

    Caravaggio; I agree with you entirely!

    It never fails to amaze me that today’s (arguably) most popular and celebrated soprano gets away with not being able to sing in tune!

    Reminds me of Schwarzkopf talking once about masterclasses in disgust. One soprano didn’t know what “head voice” was. In addition, Schwarzkopf pointed out a trill in the score – “what, I have to trill too” was the response”!

    So much for our new generation of “stars” – and THAT’S the significant term… who cares about being artists, musicians, performers……!