Gergiev makes Vienna Opera debut

Gergiev makes Vienna Opera debut


norman lebrecht

April 15, 2019

His Parsifal performance this Thursday will be Valery Gergiev’s first engagement at the Vienna State Opera.

What they have in common is a relaxed attitude to rehearsal for repertoire works. It could be a love match.


  • El Grillo says:

    Just a slim guess but: “the conductor will not be wearing orange glow panties nor have died his hair varying shabby shades of increasingly purple-lish red lip glossings in orderings

    to imitate the diction of Brad Pitt”

  • batonbaton says:

    In 1997, I heard Gergiev conduct Lohengrin at Covent Garden, with a fantastic cast it must be said – Mattila, Gwyneth Jones, Gosta Winburgh, Rene Pape, etc.

    Anyhow, Gergiev escaped quickly from the stage door with his entourage. Later, walking round London, my friend and I spotted him pissing against the door to the London Coliseum. “He’s taking a leak because he gave us his shit earlier, I presume”, commented my friend.

  • Brian says:

    Interesting we haven’t seen much of Gergiev with Putin lately. For a while, every time you turned Gergiev was collecting a medal or clinking glasses with him. Either he’s keeping their friendship at a lower profile, or it’s just not getting out to the Western news media.

  • Ben says:

    How much do they charge for this sight-reading deal?

  • stanley cohen says:

    What they have in common is a relaxed attitude to rehearsal for repertoire works

    I believe that was the concertmaster’s comment to Mahler to which he responded “Tradition ist schlamperei!”

  • stanley cohen says:

    I was reliably informed by an ex-neighbour of yours, Norman, that there are no jokes in Parsifal.

  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    He will also be making his debut at Bayreuth this summer.

  • Save the MET says:

    I’ve heard a tremendous amount of Wagner in my lifetime. The absolute worst Wagner performances I ever heard were with Gergiev and the Mariinsky at the Metropolitan Opera over a decade ago. The singers were poorly cast, the orchestra was lackluster and Gergiev does not have the feel, or understanding of the music. He was in a Wagner mode at the time and one hoped that ship had sailed. He’s merde when it comes to Wagner and his publicity machine keeps getting him impressive gigs which leave knowledgeable audiences questioning why.

  • Spenser says:

    Gergiev is a sham.
    He doesn’t rehearse. He flies in to an engagement at the last minute, unshaven and slovenly-looking, flutters his hands for a few hours, collects his fee, and takes off.
    His performances invariably sound thick, opaque, generic, and “brown” (as opposed to colorful).
    Who was it who first came up with this guy, and how the heck did he become so wildly successful? It can’t have been ALL Putin’s fault that the music world is saddled with this fourth-rate “maestro”. (And believe me, I am certainly no Putin apologist.)
    If it is the work of his “publicity machine”, as Save the MET suggested above, or his record label, then SHAME on all of them.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Actually, I think it matters whether he much cares about the ensemble he is conducting. He makes a huge effort for the Mariinsky when they are at home. Not so much for anything else.

      During his last year at the LSO he only gave three Barbican concerts. And he hasn’t been back since.