Bartoli casts Terfel, Kaufmann and Harteros in Tosca

This year, Cecilia Bartoli saw her Salzburg Spring Festival silenced by Covid.

Today, she announced details of the 2021 event.

Robert Carsen will direct Handel’s Il trionfo del Tempo. Gianluca Capuano will conduct Les Musiciens de Prince-Monaco in this and in La clemenza di Tito. A concert performance of Tosca will feature Anja Harteros, Jonas Kaufmann and Bryn Terfel under Zubin Mehta’s baton.


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  • Casting Jonas Kaufmann and Bryn Terfel as Cavaradossi and Scarpia would have been a home run or slam dunk – pick your favorite (not necessarily sport-related) metaphor – in other words, a sure hit and an operatic highlight, at any time between ten and twenty years ago. Now, however, not nearly so much. If his health holds up, Zubin Mehta might still be able to deliver a reasonably satisfying Tosca next year.

  • “Salzburg Spring Festival?” It’s the Salzburger Pfingstfestspiele (you may prefer calling it the Salzburg Whitsun Festival), not to be confused with Osterfestspiele Salzburg (Salzburg Easter Festival) which is run by an entirely different bunch of people.

  • So why the photo with La Gheorghiu then? Just to let Salzburg know what they will be missing?
    Harteros is an excellent Arabella or Marschallin, Tosca she is not

    • I doubt if the cast for 2021 met at a “press conference” for publicity photos. This photo was likely taken at Wiener Staatsoper, where Gheorghiu, Kaufmann, and Terfel did two performances of “Tosca” in April 2016, including the now-infamous third act where Gheorghiu failed to appear for several minutes after the encore of “E lucevan le stelle” leaving Kaufmann to improvise “A…abbiamo no soprano!” and ad-lib until she deigned to appear. (A backstage source told me that she deliberately stayed in her dressing room in protest of the encore: “They make me wait, so now I make them wait.”)

      Harteros also sang Tosca here with Jorge de León and Marco Vratogna later that year, and had a huge success creating a passionate and slightly unhinged diva (a nice change of pace after seeing so many casts slog through the 1958 production which has been dragged out every season since its premiere and has been given 617 times to date).

    • I had the same cast 2016 in München and it was the best Tosca ever. Unfortunately no recording…… Harteros can paint a loving girl, a religious woman and a diva all in all so credible. Gheorghiu always is diva, as Netrebko.

  • So where’s the news, and what is Bartoli’s accomplishment. I have seen exactly the same cast years ago in Munich. Harteros and Kaufman were excellent in their own way and Terfel was awful — someone had told him he was a stage animal so he acted rather than sang.

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