Vienna’s new regime begins with an embarrassing leak

Vienna’s new regime begins with an embarrassing leak


norman lebrecht

April 26, 2020

Plans had been carefully laid for a national TV roll-out tonight of the first season under the Vienna Opera’s new chief Bogdan Roscic.

But a newspaper got an early peek, and the full plans can be seen here.

Highlights include Asmik Grigorian in Madam Butterfly, the imported 2005 ENO production by the late Anthony Minghella.

Carmen in Calixto Bieitos’s production, which has already been seen in 29 other houses.

And Parsifal with Jonas Kaufmann and Elīna Garanča, directed by Kirill Serebrennikov, who is under house arrest in Russia.




  • Agent says:

    I think the man actually in charge of the Opera is Michael Lewin… not only was he able to get his client, Philippe Jordan, the GMD post, his conductors conduct 85% of the program! Bertrand de Billy, Simone Young, Sebastian Weigle, Alexander Soddy, Joana Mallwitz, Eun Sun Kim, Ramón Tebar… Pretty incredible take-over considering the level of many of those conductors…

    • FrauGeigerin says:

      Oh, yes, he got a Boheme for his ex-wife (Korean conductor Eun Sun Kim, who made her career thanks to her relationship with Lewin). Agencies rule the world of music… is that a surprise for anyone?

  • Bloom says:

    Kirill Serebrennikov was released one year ago.

  • Mustafa Kandan says:

    I think we should give the next regime the benefit of the doubt. In his later years Dominique Meyer was hardly a great success artistically.

    • Petros Linardos says:

      What benefit of doubt? Why even doubt them before they even started? Judging them at this point tells more about our judgement standards.

  • Waltraud Becker says:

    Not true – as usual.
    WSO has published the season at midnight on the website.

    Just now (afternoon) Roscic is speaking about the season on Austrian RadioÖ1 in a 55 minutes broadcast……..

    On TV there will “only” be the “show”.

  • Pedro says:

    The full program is on the site of the Staatsoper since 10.30 AM. A disappointing season. Too much Jordan and de Billy. I was expecting Gatti or Thielemann in Parsifal. No Stemme in the whole season but I might go there for Arquez as Charlotte, Grigirorian as Butterfly and Garanča as Kundry.

    • Waltraud Becker says:

      Jordan is the GMD of WSO! Thielemann has his job in Dresden and Bayreuth. So what? Pease first collect ALL informations beore claiming……

      • Pedro says:

        Thielemann is conducting Ariadne at the Staatsoper with a less than stellar cast. Parsifal should go to him.

  • Opera Pessimist says:

    Vienna is the second Otto Schenk Museum after the Met. There’s not much you can do wrong there. And after Corona you’ll not see much new everywhere.

  • Carlos says:

    There are, really, some very awful choices (Bieito’s Carmen, Castorf’s Faust).
    But there are, also, some exciting things, like Tcherniakov ‘s Oneguin and Kosky’s Macbeth. Minghella’s classic production is so stunningly beautiful that all opera houses should have it in their seasons.
    The best suprises are the return of the beautiful Ponnele’s Nozze di Figaro and, above all, Kupfer’s magnificent Elektra (in place of Laufenberg’s foolish-and-always-booing-deserved production).
    In the strictly musical field, the casts are at the highest level. The only thing to regret is the absence of the fabulous Nina Stemme.

    • Opera Pessimist says:

      If Kosky’s Macbeth is the same as Zurich’s than it would be great. But I see too much recycling in Vienna. Maybe the right thing after Corona.

  • Larry L. Lash / Vienna, Austria says:

    I’m particularly looking forward to the return of Peter Konwitschny’s production of the totally uncut five-act, five-hour (including all the ballet music) French “Don Carlos” with Jonas Kaufmann. And I think Garanca will be a spectacular Kundry. There’s a lot to like in the season, and – yeah, there are still a couple of Otto Schen productions, but at least the 1957 “Butterfly” is finally biting the dust. Hopefully the 1958 “Tosca” (which Mr. & Mrs. Netrebko will do in the coming season) won’t be around much longer (Anna also gets the third new production of “Macbeth” in about a decade). It’s also a relief that for the first time in many years there is NO “Ring!” Just a few performances of “Die Walküre.” Rather than annually scraping together a few singers who can bellow though the “Ring,” perhaps it will be restored to something special.

    • Petros Linardos says:

      Why are you looking forward to the end of the beautiful 1958 Tosca production?

      • Larry L. Lash / Vienna, Austria says:

        Because the last time I saw it, it looked as if it might cave in on the singers. It opened on 03 April 1958 and has been played EVERY season since then, and It has chalked up 617 performances to date. It would also be nice to see a different interpretation of the opera. It is certainly not the kind of opera done by Theater an der Wien, and I wouldn’t want to suffer through it in German at Volksoper.

  • RW2013 says:

    There’s always still Theater an der Wien…

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    I personally feel that opera has mostly gone by its sell-by date!! We’ve seen the older ones to death and the modern variety is just too bloody awful to contemplate.

  • Edgar says:

    Never a dull moment in Vienna:-;

  • Wienerin says:

    Viel mehr als die “Tosca” stört mich der mittlerweile schrottreife “Rosenkavalier” Geflickte Kulissen, die nachgeschneiderten Kostüme sind hässlich und billig. Wo ist die wunderbare Harry Kupfer – Inszenierung aus Salzburg 2014 abgeblieben? Hier in Wien könnte sie einen guten Platz finden….