Bayreuth crisis: Dane sings from wings to save Meistersinger

Bayreuth crisis: Dane sings from wings to save Meistersinger


norman lebrecht

July 27, 2021

The Danish baritone Bo Skovhus saved yesterday’s Meistersinger performance at the Bayreuth Festival by singing Beckmesser from the wings after Johannes Martin Kränzle cancelled earlier in the day with a throat infection.

Kränzle remained on stage to act out the role. Skovhus did not even have time to get into costume.

Kränzle tells us he decided to go on ‘because the Regie from Barrie Kosky is very special. Bo Skovhus arrived 40 minutes before the perfomance, and it was clear that he will sing and I will play.’


  • Gustavo says:

    «Beckmesser, keiner besser!»

  • Heril Steemøen says:

    Quite a cool thing to do. I often find it liberating to perform on short notice.

  • John Borstlap says:

    Brilliant! That is professionalism. It’s only regrettable that Beckmesser gets a bad deal again, on top of Wagner’s bad treatment.

  • RW2013 says:

    That is what paid alternative casts are there to do.

    • Tiredofitall says:

      Be that as it may, Bo Skovhus deserves credit for his performance. All performers are there to do what they are paid to do, but audiences gratefully recognize their efforts.

    • Ken says:

      I find a bit strange that a singer like Skovhus accepts to be just a cover

      • Siegfried says:

        He was probably not a cover, as such. I imagine there was no cover and he was flown in at a few hours’ notice. this happens regularly at many houses.

  • Ken says:

    Why calling this a « crisis » ?

  • Gustavo says:

    But to call this a crisis…I don’t know.

  • Anonymous Bosch says:

    How nice for the audience!

    My last visit to Bayreuth ended with this production of „Die Meistersinger“. With the „Flieder-Monolog” in Act II it was horrifyingly apparent that Michael Volle had run of out steam.

    Klaus Florian Vogt’s top notes went wildly flat. The Eva, too, was having a bad night.

    During the Pause everyone discussed who would step in to the performance for Volle. Was there an understudy? Would someone sing from the wings?

    No. Much to everyone’s embarrassment (including his) Volle stumbled through the two-hour third act, often marking or simply dropping out.

    The glorious quintet „Selig, wie die Sonne” was simply excruciating.

    • Sam McElroy says:

      I was more fortunate. I heard Volle in the same production at Bayreuth in 2019, and he was absolutely out of this world from start to finish. I had never seen him on stage before, and he immediately became one of my favourite singers. You must have got him on a bad night, which singers have, of course, since they are of flesh and blood.

      • Tom Phillips says:

        He is usually glorious – certainly in all the live, videotaped and recorded performances of his that I’ve seen. Definitely the best Hans Sachs today.

  • Concerned opera buff. says:

    Why did he have to sing from the wings, when he could have sung right behind him as kind of an alter ego. Singers wear modern clothes anyways so no one would thought anything of it.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Maybe the Bayreuth offerings have grown more than a little tired and, oh so, yesterday!!