Singer couple attack Bayreuth

The German-Austrian opera couple Peter Seiffert and Petra Maria Schnitzer have spoken of fears for their professional futures.

‘My international commitments for a whole year were cancelled,’ said Seiffert. ‘There is absolutely no replacement or compensation.’

Schnitzer attacked the total shudown in Bayreuth, comparing it unfavourably to Salzburg. ‘I am appalled that in Bavaria it was not possible to keep culture higher, so that at least a slimmed-down version could have been organised in Bayreuth,’ she said.

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  • Whatever the rights and wrongs of their case, I doubt that it’s very clever in the current crisis to develop a reputation for whingeing.

  • I don’t see this as an attack, justa statement of fact and a wish that things had been handled differently.

  • In the era of COVID, opera has become a truly unsustainable art form. Tragic, but necessary to see it go if we are to ever recover from the obliteration this lethal pandemic has inflicted upon us all. Thoughts and prayers to our friends in Bavaria.

      • Unfortunately given the Domingo example (as well as many other less publicized cases such as James Morris) it now seems all too common for opera singers to keep performing long and taxing roles well past their sell-by date.

  • Seiffert should have retired many years ago as he long ago developed a strong “beat” in his voice, particularly in prolonged ringing phrases of the type so common in the Wagnerian heldentenor repertoire he most frequently performs. Like so many other lyric voices, he should have limited himself to Lohengrin, Parsifal and Meistersinger, and otherwise retained his previous repertoire.

  • Peter, your sell-by date passed at least five to ten years ago and the pair of you I think participate in the worst staging of the First Act of Walkure I have seen to this time – the one from Valencia with Zubin Mehta conducting. What new production at Bayreuth in the past seven or eight years has been worth saving anyway?

    • David Spence, I hope you were lucky enough to miss Max Lorenz as Siegmund in Bayreuth. Three times I’ve seen “Walkuere” when the best singer in Act I was Hunding, not what Wagner intended. Or more recently, Burkhard Fritz, as Parsifal.

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