Barrie Kosky: I have the world’s best Janacek conductor

Barrie Kosky: I have the world’s best Janacek conductor


norman lebrecht

February 15, 2022

The Australian director will be staging Kat’a Kabanova in Salzburg this summer.

The leading roles will be sung by Corinne Winters, David Butt Philip, Jaroslav Březina and Evelyn Herlitzius.

Kosky specifies: ‘I need a true partner in the orchestra pit. I cannot stage an opera in isolation from the musical aspects of the production. In my opinion, Jakub Hrusa is the best Janáček conductor in the world right now, at least close to Charles Mackerras.’


  • guest says:

    He can’t stage an opera in isolation from the musical aspects? Is this COVID-induced delusion? He does it all the time.

  • erich says:

    Not terribly complimentary to Mirga, who just conducted his terrific production of Vixen in Munich!

    • RW2013 says:

      I don’t think that Barrieness suffers from blonde-crush.

      • Leoš says:

        Or kindness. Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla conducts Barrie Kosky’s new staging of another Janáček opera tonight. It is one of her first opera assignments, I believe. For Kosky to declare publicly “I need a true partner in the orchestra pit” and that someone other than his present one is “the best Janáček conductor in the world” can only be an attack on her.

        • Barry Guerrero says:

          Nonsense. How is stating a preference, regardless of how zealous you make that statement, an ‘attack’ on someone else. And even if that were true, is he not permitted to state a preference for Hrusa over Mirga? What he could be accused of, is a lack of tact. I thought only ‘libtards’, such as myself, were the only true ‘snowflakes’ about (and I think ‘libtards’ is far more appropriate for Libertarians).

  • music lover says:

    Absolutely agreed.And Jakub is fantastic in so much other rep,too.And fun to work with!

  • Alviano says:

    A little bitchy since Simon-somebody just conducted a super Makropulos Case on the other side of town.

  • Figaro. says:

    Of course, stage directors are everything, conductors are just servants. Yes Barry, no Barry. How times have changed.

  • Harry Collier says:

    Just listen to an opera, and close your eyes. Don Giovanni set in the New York subway next? Janacek, Handel, Mozart, Wagner et al will survive. “Stage directors” come and go like this year’s clothing fashions.

    • JB says:

      Well, there was Tristan in the Paris métro last year in Aix.

    • Nik says:

      Kosky is hit and miss, but having seen his Agrippina and Saul I’m very glad i didn’t close my eyes. Both were superb stagings that added hugely to the overall impression. In fact I still have vivid images of both in my head, years later.

  • Alasdair Munro says:

    Tomas Hanus is doing well at WNO

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Please keep Kosky to yourselves and never let him come back to Australia!!

  • David Spence says:

    There are half a dozen names I would select over Jakub Hrusa as being ideal for Janacek’s operas, Kat’a Kabanova being my favorite among them. Edward Gardner, Jonathan Nott, Kent Nagano, Ingo Metzmacher, Simone Young, Susanna Malkki. Hrusa is a total mediocrity. Asher Fisch, Ivan Fischer Steven Sloane are also names that almost right away come to mind.

  • David Spence says:

    Ilan Volkov and Kazushi Ono are two further names, such as should have immediately been able to come to mind.