Ovations for Gergiev in Salzburg

Ovations for Gergiev in Salzburg


norman lebrecht

August 16, 2019

First reports from last night’s Simon Boccanegra in Salzburg suggest that the loudest cheers were for the conductor, Valery Gergiev.

He had flown back from his mother’s funeral in the Caucasus with not much time to spare.

Luca Salsi sang the Doge, with Marina Rebeka as Amelia and Rene Pape as Fiesco.

Gergiev has one more Tannhäuser to conduct at Bayreuth, where he was poorly received.


  • 16VA says:

    Bravo for Gergiev, Rushing back from the funersl, to deliver an excellent performance! This is real procdessionalism.

  • John Borstlap says:

    My fly on the wall informed me that many people in the audience thought he was the replacement.

  • Trevor S. says:

    Just genius! As he always will be

  • Gustavo says:

    I heard the positiv review this morning on BR Klassik.

    I was relieved and very happy for Valery.

    What if ignorants had booed the “Putin conductor” like in Bayreuth?

    • Edgar says:

      The booers in Bayreuth are not ignorants. Bayreuth’s acoustics are not Salzburg’s. Valery messed it up because of the acoustics, which resulted in several moments of very bad coordination between proceedings in the pit and onstage.

      Bayreuth is a tricky house which makes it impossible to conduct without having spent enough time, even for the most famous of conductors – even though Bayreuth said Valery had been present at all contractually stipulated rehearsals (for two of which he arrived with significant delay).

      As I quoted Chtistian Thielemann before some time ago: “In Bayreuth ist ALLES anders….”

      Kudos to Valery and his colleagues for putting on/pulling off an acclaimed Boccanegra in Salzburg, where the huge Festspielhaus is certainly a much easier place to conduct.

      • Gustavo says:

        “In Bayreuth ist ALLES anders….”

        Yes, they now have a Musikdirektor who sits in rehearsals, constantly “adding his mustard”.

  • Apr says:

    Gergiev always appears here as some kind of persona non grata whereas everything that has to do with the states is highly laudable….
    Do you really think that the examples that we hear on a daily basis from the USA are that bright and clever?

    • Peter says:

      well, maybe “freedom of speech” and “free elections” give you a hint to answer our question yourself.

      • Tamino says:

        Well, talking about the distant past?
        Welcome to the dystopian present, where US corporations and a proto-fascist state eavesdrop and spy on everyone globally.
        And how free are elections really, if you only have a choice between two, only on the surface feel-wise different, candidates from the two chapters of the Unified Corporate Plutocrate Party.
        And let’s not talk about corruption even…
        Or war mongering…

    • V.Lind says:

      Not sure Peter Gelb would agree with you…

    • MWnyc says:

      Wait a minute — you’re not seriously saying that this blog is pro-United States, are you?

  • Djeedo says:

    Gergiev can do what ever he wants,on this platform he is not welcome,even when his mother died it is a good reason bash him…THAT is as unhuman as the accusations he has to take here every other week!

  • Art says:

    I was there. By far, the singers got the most applause and finally a long standing ovation. It was a singers’ night even though the orchestra was regrettably very loud at times. Rarely a cast is so perfectly done as in this Boccanegra. Gergiev did his job, to give direction but also to follow the singers.

    • Peter Schünemann says:

      Is that so bad, when a conductor follows the singers? I remember Finnish soprano Soile Isokoski telling the story, when she sang Desdemona in Paris and asked Gergiev, how he wanted a certain passage to be sung. His answer : “Sing it like you want to do it. I will follow you.”

  • lohengrinloh says:

    not surprising. He is the best today.