Just in: Daniel Barenboim bans press from his season launch

The Berlin music director, battered by recent reports of bad temper, has decided to launch the next season of the Berlin State Opera online only, without facing the media.

The plans for 2019/20 will be published on the company’s website from 11 am on March 25.

This appears to be unprecedented for a state opera house.


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  • Following upon RW2013’s comment, I am inclined to view the journalism of today as a Misthaufen in general. DB will be using an electronic medium to reveal the coming season directly to those interested, i.e., interested in that season, not in searching for bits of possibly scandalous tattle. I’m hard put to think of a press conference in recent times at which journalists have asked why an opera house is putting on that opera or why that soprano has been cast in that role. No, reveal the season directly to those interested and bypass the scandalmongers and those with hidden agendas. We need press conferences in Washington and Westminster now more than ever. We don’t need them around opera houses, for there aren’t today enough competent music critics or responsible journalists to justify them. Those in search of more mud to chuck at DB can look elsewhere. This is about opera, not tetchy conductors or opinions re Israel and the Palestinians.

    • What a bizarre comment. Sure, many of the most dedicated people will go to the pod-cast, but they would probably have bought their tickets anyway. Many others won’t find out about the programme unless it is reported by the press (the press are “free marketing”). He is wilfully ensuring many potential customers won’t know about what will be shown at the Berlin Opera.

  • Those who live by the sword die by the sword.

    DB who never shied away from a camera is shying away now.

    One thing is for sure, DB needs the media more than the media needs him.

    It’s never a good idea to try to bypass journalists, they will inevitably have the last word, whether you cooperate or not.

    If you have nothing to be ashamed of, why are you acting as though you had something to be ashamed of?

    • And who pays the slightest heed to what a journalist writes!? Most of us have no need of a poorly-informed scribbler to ‘interpret’ the world for us.

      • Huh? Everything you know about the world that you didn’t see yourself got reported by someone else? Without these other people reporting this stuff you would know absolutely nothing about the world. [Of course, have some critical faculties…]

    • Sorry, even as a former journalist and always a champion of a free press I do understand Mr B’s decision.
      In matters of the program planing there’s probably nothing to be “ashamed” of, but Mr B. knows as well as we do that a press conferences in the moment wouldn’t have the next season as a subject, but this campaign against him.
      He’s said what he’s got to say about this. So why should he discuss it further?

  • Whatever. The proof of the season will be in its success or lack thereof. With and without DB.

    Other than that: there is plenty of “Theater vor dem Theater” to be had in Berlin – it all depends on where one finds oneself at any given moment on any given spot on any given day at any given hour.

    Ach, die Berliner Luft…. Immortalized by Paul Lincke (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ki5duPF5bk)

  • ‚weiß er nicht wann die Sach einmal ein End hat‘
    oder ‚Abtreten die Leut‘
    Das gilt für den Maestro genauso wie für die ebenso abgenützte Frau Bundeskanzlerin

  • Season launches have turned into subscriber and donor parties on this side of the pond, with no formal open question period but (at least in some cases) one-on-one interview opportunities for the Misthaufen types.

  • Eh, so what? If I want to know what any group is doing in their next season, I’ll wait for the brochure or go to the website. A dog-and-pony show to announce the season’s contents? Hard to imagine something about which I would care less.

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