Director gets booed at Kaufmann’s first Tristan

Director gets booed at Kaufmann’s first Tristan


norman lebrecht

June 30, 2021

There was heavy booing in Munich last night for  Krzysztof Warlikowski’s contemporary-styled new production of Tristan und Isolde, as was only to be expected.

Jonas Kaufmann and Anja Harteros received ovations for their role debuts, as did the conductor Kirill Petrenko.

No reviews yet.

German critics don’t do overnights.


    • Robin Worth says:

      This review seems a bit restrained, except for comments on Petrenko.

      German reviewers don’t tend to get all that critical, and the production is long sold out, so one doesn’t get that clear an idea of how much he liked or disliked it

      Yes, he liked the two stars: interesting that he said Kaufmann was not yet a great Tristan (but might become one) and more convincing piano than fortissimo…..reminds me of his Otello a couple of years ago

      • Herr Doktor says:

        BINGO, that was the EXACT comment I had about Kaufmann singing Tristan Act II in Boston–his softer passages were far more convincing than anything that required volume or power. I also concluded that Kaufmann was not yet a great Tristan. But unlike the German critic, I don’t believe he will ever become one (and I’m willing to bet that the German critic doesn’t either).

  • JS says:

    Mr Lebrecht, director ALWAYS gets booed, it’s kind of tradition and means nothing at all.

    • John Borstlap says:

      That is not true. It is the Regietheaterdirectors who get boo’d. No audience likes Regietheater. But if they want to hear live opera they have to try to bear the visuals.

      • Elke Meissner says:

        I saw the production last night and it is not a matter of Regietheater versus conventional or orthodox theater, but of good theater, that is a logical, consistent and plausible concept on the one side and on the other hand a something against the music, against the libretto, against the idea of Musiktheater. In this special case it is an absolute Nothing, a Void, a Vacuum.
        One of the most terrible productions I have ever seen, and I am a fan of GGOD Regietheater!

  • R. Brite says:

    I am ordinarily not a booer, on principle – I feel that no matter how bad a production is, the work that went into it should be acknowledged.

    The one time I made an exception (Gluck’s Iphigénie at the Garnier in 2006), guess who the director was?

  • JB says:

    In Munich they get this kind of modern productions all year long, so I don’t know why they are booing now. The problem with Warlikowski is that he works now way too much, so he’s running out of ideas and reproduces the same mannerisms everywhere. Apart from that, he’s far from being the worst (look at Tcherniakov for that).

  • Cyril Ignatius Kendrick says:

    I hate to see anyone like this getting booed.
    But it also seems better to let art be what it is, and enjoy it as resides in its own place, rather than trying to stamp it with modernity. That is part of the experience of art.

  • Nik says:

    I bet it was all those rich gay people he said he didn’t want at his performances. Reminding him that they still pay his exorbitant fees.

  • GUEST says:

    Kreepy guy….. could’ve been on The Addams Family

  • John A Rondeau says:

    She doesn’t have a large enough voice for Wagner someone was asleep at the wheel when they hired her. Of all of the Sopranos currently singing seriously? Yuck

    • operacentric says:

      Not my favourite singer (I find her emotionless) but were you there to gauge the size of her voice in the role?

  • IP says:

    Directors are capable of just anything, especially when working in Europe. However, Warlikowski’s Elektra and FROSCH were excellent, so I would watch the whole thing first before commenting.

  • Max Raimi says:

    There is a famous story about the Milwaukee Symphony with their Music Director at the time, Lucas Foss, performing Beethoven’s Seventh in Munich on tour; this would have been at some point in the mid-to-late 1980s. In the coda of the last movement, there is a passage in which the lower strings obsessively repeat a two-note pattern, undulating quarter notes between a low E Natural and D Sharp. Lucas instructed them to slide between the notes, creating a rather grotesque groan. The good burghers of Munich went out of their minds, hissing and booing; one patron yelled “Das ist Las Vegas Beethoven!”
    Lucas was absolutely thrilled. For the first time in generations, people finally could understand just how transgressive this music was meant to be!