Elsa pop-out: Netrebko dumps Bayreuth

Elsa pop-out: Netrebko dumps Bayreuth


norman lebrecht

August 05, 2019

She’s exhausted, says the press release. Doctor has ordered three weeks off.

So she has dropped the two Lohengrins at Bayreuth on August 14 and 18.

Her jump-in as Elsa is Annette Dasch who, at least, has good German.



  • wladek says:

    The BS gets deeper and deeper.

  • Olga says:

    It’s quite understandable. She really worked hard during previous months. Take care, Anna. Get well soon!

    • erich says:

      Absolute rubbish. She must have approved her own schedule and therefore assumed -obviously erroneously – that she could cope with it. There must also be bad – or just greedy -management behind this problem.

  • Deborah says:

    I wish she could rest for the rest of her career.

  • John Rook says:

    Bayreuth’s understandable but misguided flirtation with the star system is reaping its predictable rewards. How about a return to nurturing those who have a genuine desire to perform in this exceptional venue?

    • Deborah says:

      I agree with you, sadly nurturing is out of the question nowadays. The arts(well,corporations) are about business so we are prisoners. I am preparing myself to hear Madam Netrebko in Isolde some day.

    • Tristan says:

      so true – her Elsa wasn’t great at all with lousy diction

    • Brangäne says:

      You couldn’t have put it better, John! What else needs to happen to make Bayreuth realize that these superstar-Instagrammer singers (most of whom are not even suitable to the roles they are picked for in the first place!) always jump out of their engagements whenever they feel like it and with absolutely no embarrassment? If they didn’t learn their lesson after that episode with Roberto Alagna last year, then their situation is pretty much hopeless, I’m afraid. And to think that there are quite a few TRULY Wagnerian great singers that have never been invited to Bayreuth productions! Singers who would give everything for that chance and do a brilliant job both on stage and off. It’s so revoltingly unfair!

  • Vaquero357 says:

    On the positive side, Netrebko is providing a lot of talented, up-and-coming (or even already-here) sinngers with unexpected opportunities to sing in high-profile productions.

    I can just see young sopranos poring over Anna’s schedule for the next year, figuring out which productions she might cancel and how to position themselves to be ready if they get The Call.

    • waltraud riegler says:

      Annette Dasch is a very experienced Wagner singer, she performed Elsa 2010 – 2013 in Bayreuth and 2012 at La Scala.

      • John Rook says:

        Even more than that; I did it with her in 2015 on the Green Hill.

      • Novagerio says:

        Who would dislike Waltraud Riegler’s comment? Another pharisee nutcase from the Netrebko-congregation who cannot see anything good beyond the “idols” sphere?…
        3 things: 1) Dasch sings the lyrical Wagner perfectly 2) she’s german, and her german diction is as it should be and 3) she knows what’s she’s interpreting, she doesn’t make mud out of the words, doesn’t breath between the words either, and doesn’t need a tele-prompter.

        For a minority of us, that’s called professionalism, not an exorbitantly high-priced giant raspberry.

  • Daniel Layne says:

    Anna’s schedule as of late has been rather grueling to say the least, so it is no real surprise that she needs to take a little time off for some much needed rest. This season alone she has added three new roles to her repertoire, (Leonora)Forza, (Elisabetta)Don Carlo and (Turandot)Turandot. Of course she has approved her schedule, but what may have looked possible on paper at one time can become more difficult once the rehearsals and coachings begin.
    I hope she returns well rested.

  • Edgar says:

    Only God, according to certain traditions, is omnipresent. Singers, conductors and other performing artists are not. Which is why they need to develop the ability to say ‘No!” – even if invitations are extended from the most august of places. Time for a Generalpause for Anna. May she use it wisely.

  • Bogda says:

    Yusif also cancelled Tosca in Verona, citing exhaustion. She posted pictures from Istanbul airport with both of them even before these announcements came out. On Russian social media it’s being rumored that they are on the way to Baku for a friend’s wedding. I guess it’s not hard to make connection

  • Oddjob says:

    She is not capable of singing wagner and she cancelled her salzburg appearance as a set up to bugging out of bayreuth. K. Wagner is a complete idiot as a director and is destroying this once great venue with crap productions and crap directors. Have witnessed it first hand since 2011 but no more. Adios Bayreuth

    • Novagerio says:

      By the way, she must have remembered that Bayreuth pays “shit”…that’s when the press secretary who runs her various virtual accounts uses that very very worn out cliché “Regretfully Anna is forced to cancel due to illness”, and then her entire “parish” wishes her a “speedy recovery”…
      I am sorry former divas like Tebaldi and Gencer are dead…usually they attended every general rehearsal and even Opening Nights at La Scala…
      De temporum fine comoedia…

  • Gustavo says:

    Fat cats booing Valery get no Netrebko.

    Serves them right.

  • sam says:

    I can’t think of another major singer in history who has tackled so many new roles, in so vast a range, in so short a time, as Netrebko. Is it healthy for her voice? It obviously isn’t healthy for her health!

    Does she still have a coach guiding her? Or is it just all instincts and an agent?

    • Novagerio says:

      Sam: Had Domingo had a teleprompter like Netrebko, he would have sang double as many roles as he has done the last 50+ years.

  • M McAlpine says:

    I would imagine that as most Bayreuth productions are complete rubbish they would be first on any singers list to cancel.

  • norman lebrecht says:

    I’m disappointed that no-one picked up on the headline pun – Elsa Poppin. Ah well.

  • Gianmarco Segato says:

    Annette Dasch jumped in for an ill
    Camilla Nylund at last Monday’s Bayreuth Lohengrin. I was there. She gave a very, intense performance. Vocally perhaps not as plush as one would expect Netrebko to be but very clear, pointed text and a committed portrayal. Audiences won’t be short-shrifted!

  • Maria says:

    Yes, armchair critics always think singers and their instruments are totally indestructible. Glad she has the sense to get out and avoid not singing as well as she could, and then get beaten up again like Jonas Kaufman. No one is indispensable in this world, particularly us singers.

  • Harry Levy says:

    Gergiev’s vocal rejection by the Bayreuth crowd could have weighed on her decision – not sure this crowd’s her fan base.

  • jamesay says:

    It doesn’t take a genius to look at Mr or Mrs Nebs online schedules to see that they will get exhausted at some point. Managements know this and cannot afford to block off their commitments prior to the gig but that is called exclusivity and costs! The system ain’t gonna change any time soon as every institution wants these top flight singers and takes the risks and has good cover in place!