Breaking: Bayreuth loses its Elsa

Breaking: Bayreuth loses its Elsa


norman lebrecht

July 11, 2019

The Bayreuth festival has lost Krassimira Stoyanova in the role of Elsa in Lohengrin.

An official statement says she is unwell. Her replacement is Camilla Nylund.


  • Tristan says:

    a pity as she would definitely have been a beautiful Elsa unlike a Netrebko show for the last two whose German prononciation is horrible but that’s Bayreuth nowadays – let’s hope there is no booing like last year’s ridiculous Domingo show – Bayreuth audience is different from Salzburg where most of the visitors have no clue

    • Alan says:

      I go to Salzburg every year. I’m not sure if I have a clue or not. But I do enjoy myself. Hope that’s ok with the cognoscenti on here.

      • Bogda says:

        I also visit both festivals every year, so don’t agree on generalization. But there clearly is a difference in audience between Salzburg and Bayreuth. Hardly anyone comes to Bayreuth to be seen, you do need to sit on those wooden chairs for 6 hours, so usually there are only Wagner fans. On the other side it is also true that majority of Salzburg audience are quite knowledgeable and come primarily because of art. However, there are many who come for the red carpet 😉

        • Edgar says:

          I concur with your observation, and indeed with your last sentence.

          Many years ago I attended Salzburg festival performances. One night, I had the luxury of watching “das Grosse Theater vor dem Theater” as grand limos majestically drove up in front of the Festspielhaus and people who were Very Important and Extravagantly Dressed made Their Entrance (preceded by The Grand Dis-Embarkation from the Rolls Royce. A veritable Spectacle!).

          They were to come out hours later, after a Verdi/Karajan “Don Carlo”, utterly perspired and wet, because von Karajan had ordered the air conditioning to be switched off as soon as he entered the pit: its noise irritated him.

          Meanwhile, I enjoyed a Chopin recital by the then very young Krystian Zimerman at the Kleine Festpielhaus, with rapturous ovations at its conclusion – and returned outside onto the street just in time to be watching again as the slightly disheveled, mascara dripping and perspiration-soaked Very Important Extravagantly Dressed Audience emerged from the hothouse of Karajan’s Don Carlo, getting into their limousines and to cooling environments as fast as they could. That was a sight to behold, too…

          • Robert Groen says:

            Luckily, it probably was only the Four Act version….

          • Kurwenal says:

            At least they HAVE air conditioning in Salzburg. The Festspielhaus in Bayreuth refuses to even consider upgrading their pitiful fan system for fear of messing up the acoustic. How some of the Bayreuth ‘Very Important Extravagantly Dressed Audience’ can stand wearing black tie- with jackets on throughout- is beyond comprehension. Maybe they DO have ice in their veins.

  • Eyal Braun says:

    She has just cancelled several performances of Verdi’s Requiem with The Israel PO and Mehta

  • Spamalot says:

    The Festival posted this on Facebook:

    Erfreulicherweise wird Camilla Nylund die ‚Elsa‘ in den „Lohengrin“-Aufführungen am 26. und 29. Juli sowie am 3., 7. und 11. August gestalten, zusätzlich zu ihrem Engagement als ‚Eva‘ in „Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg“.

    Happy, Camilla Nylund will perform the ‘ Elsa ‘ in the “Lohengrin” performances on July 26. And 29., as well as on 3, 7. And 11. August, in addition to her commitment as ‘ EVA ‘ ‘ in “the meistersinger of nuremberg”. [Facebook translation]

  • Today the Bayreuth Festival published the following statement (in German and English) on its website:

    Krassimira Stoyanova, who wanted to make her debut at the Bayreuth Festival this year with the role of ‘Elsa’ in the “Lohengrin”-production, unfortunately has to cancel her participation in 2019 due to illness.
    Fortunately, Camilla Nylund will perform the ‘Elsa’ in the “Lohengrin” performances on 26th and 29th of July as well as on 3rd, 7th and 11th of August, in addition to her role as ‘Eva’ in “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg”.
    The festival management thanks to Camilla Nylund and wishes Krassimira Stoyanova all the best for her recovery.

    Sometimes, reading can help immensely. But only if you really want to inform yourself. If you had done that, you wouldn’t be spreading fake news.
    To swagger from a “crisis as usual” is a malicious insinuation, I think. Using a singer’s illness to do this is particularly bad.
    We ask you to correct it. Otherwise, we will examine legal steps.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      Our report was published several hours ahead of anything appearing on the Bayreuth Festspiele website, at a time when quite a few operagoers were asking why no Elsa was listed for this year’s festival. We provided the best information available at the time. If you accuse us of spreading fake news, we shall take appropriate action.

  • Ed says:

    Stoyanova’s cancellation (and replacement) was reported early Thursday afternoon on BR-Klassik radio.