German maestro move: Was gibts in Kiel, bleibt in Kiel

German maestro move: Was gibts in Kiel, bleibt in Kiel


norman lebrecht

May 19, 2019

Karlsruhe has announced a new GMD for 2020, succeeding Justin Brown.

He is Georg Fritzsch.

He has been GMD in Kiel for the past 16 years.




  • I was an Inspizientin in Kiel. I learned a lot about the German opera system. It was before the taking down of the Wall, before the flood gates from East Germany to West Germany opened, and Americans were abundantly represented in the German opera house work force.

  • Dorset Richard says:

    Any news on where Justin Brown is going ?

  • Mustafa Kandan says:

    So many opera houses in Germany.It is a pity there are so few opera houses in Britain compared to Germany,Austria, France and Italy (though the Italian opera houses have been in trouble for a long time & most of them have dreary orchestras). I would have been so interested in visiting different cities of Britain, but there is so little music outside of London. I have only 5 weeks to attend approximately 30 performances a year in Europe (the rest of the year I am stuck in popular culture worshipping Australia). The lack of sufficient number of performances makes prolonged stay in Britain impossible.

  • Kiel has a popululation of 247,000 and Karlsruhe 307,000. Karlsruhe has a fairly major opera house. It’s currently running Pelleas and Melisande, Freischutz, Cunning Little Vixen, Tales of Hoffmann, and Elektra.

    Kiel does less, but still has its full time, year-round program of concerts and opera in its dedicated State Theater/Opera house complex.

    Americans could have this too with a proper funding system. It would take time to build audiences, but not so long. Soon they would be as proud of their local state theaters as the Europeans are.

  • S113921 says:

    Georg Fritzsch is not 63 years old, his birth year is 1963, so he actually 55…

  • Albrecht Vapeur says:

    The German half of the article heading makes no sense.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      It was only half meant to. It’s a literal translation from Vegas

      • Andreas B says:

        I was also mystified by the headline.

        The thing with literal (or in this instance rather word-by-word) translations: they rarely work.

        The line about Vegas in German might be translated along the lines of
        “was in Kiel passiert [ist], darüber spricht man nicht”.

        To illustrate the point, a literal translation in the opposite direction:

        “what gives it for after table?”

        At least, however, it’s quite amusing to the German speaker.

        • Brettermeier says:

          “At least, however, it’s quite amusing to the German speaker.”

          I find it always super, if man his language knowledge as accomplished mount can how Norman. Hat off!

          Hm… Nope, it’s just annoying.

      • Goethe says:

        No, it’s not a “literal translation”. It’s a mess.

  • Goethe says:

    Oh God! NL, please don’t write headlines in German. Your English ones are bad enough (clickbaity/misrepresenting), but at least they tend to be grammatical.