Bayreuth will be dependent on Nordics

Bayreuth will be dependent on Nordics


norman lebrecht

June 26, 2021

From an interview with its new conductor Oksana Lyniv:

Our Dutchman, John Ludgren, is from Sweden, Asmik Grigorian, who sings Senta, is of Armenian-Latvian descent. Dmitri Cherniakov is from Russia, I am Ukrainian. Musicians from more than 30 nations make up the choir and the orchestra. 

My conductor’s outfit is a kind of armor. I have to feel totally secure. But it should also be elegant and, above all, comfortable, so I can concentrate fully on the music. Ever since my state exams, a costume designer from Lviv, who also works at the Lviv Opera, has designed my stage outfits. As for the sash, it reminded me of a Japanese kimono. Otherwise, it is very practical: it helps you keep your posture.

As for the traditional costumes, I am a passionate collector. The Ukrainian folk costumes, the “vyshyvankas,” are more than just pieces of clothing. They are the soul of the people, every region, every place had its own colour, its own embroidery pattern. I wear them in everyday life and for festive occasions. They help me stay connected when I am abroad.


  • V.Lind says:

    Your understanding of Nordic is at odds with mine (and officialdom’s). I only see one Nordic mentioned. And the director says the unnamed participants are from 30 nations…sounds pretty much like a typical opera company.

  • Tamino says:

    Somebody skipped Geography lessons in school. Armenia, Russia, Ukraine, are “Nordic”?
    And, even if they were, who cares?

  • henry williams says:

    she seems friendly. unlike some

  • JB says:

    Lauritz Melchior, Kirsten Flagstad and Birgit Nilsson were Nordics, too. Nothing new.

  • Novagerio says:

    Peter Cornelius, Erik Schmedes, Kirsten Flagstad, Lauritz, Melchior, Karen Branzell, Nanny Larsén-Todsen, Kerstin Thorborg, Gunnar Graarud, Ivar Andrésen, Set Svanholm, Joel Berglund, Sigurd Björling, Birgit Nilsson, Kerstin Meyer, Frans Andersson, Barbro Ericson, Helge Brilioth, Martti Talvela, Berit Lindholm, Caterina Ligendza, Leif Roar, Bent Norup, Bent Rundgren, Matti Salminen, Aage Haugland, Poul Elming, Tina Kiberg, Eva Johansson, and most recently Iréne Theorin, Stephen Milling and John Lundgren are just a few names throughout 100+ years of Bayreuth history.
    In fact, Nordics have always been indispensable in the Green Hill.

  • Diane Valerie says:

    Pedant alert: Is Asmik Grigorian not of Armenian/Lithuanian descent? (Not Latvian).

  • Lila says:

    I wonder how many male conductors have been asked about their outfits…

  • Gustavo says:

    Well, with the Germanic roots of the Nibelungenlied and Scandinavian parallels found in the Edda and Völsunga sagas, I see no way how Bayreuth could ever free itself from “Nordic” influences.