But can she manage Barenboim?

But can she manage Barenboim?


norman lebrecht

May 12, 2022

The director of the Bregenz Festival, Elisabeth Sobotka, is about to be announced as incoming general director of the Berlin Staatsoper on Unter den Linden, starting in 2024.

Her predecessor Schulz is leaving for the Zurich Opera House.

Sobotka, 56, worked at the Staatsoper 15 years ago and is popular with the staff, especially with the anti-Barenboim factions.

This could turn into a battleground.


  • Alan says:

    I like and admire Barenboim in the main but I think he is slowing down a lot lately. I saw him walking last year in Salzburg and he really is beginning to feel the years by the look of him. And now he has a serious vascular issue.

    He may not even be working much by 2024

  • RW2013 says:

    Someone has to do it.
    Who will follow DB?

  • Hermann Lederer says:

    This really pure nonsense without any relevance. She was always very close to Barenboim. Not only when she worked in Berlin but also in the time since she left. Barenboim tried for a long time to convince her to come back.

  • henry williams says:

    Barenboim will be over 80. will he have
    the strength to argue with the good lady.

  • Bulgakov says:

    She’ll be fine. She has a great track record, including Graz.

  • Jarred says:

    Timely for someone new. I have never rated Barenboim very highly and he should know when it’s time to hang up the baton.

  • WP says:

    I’m a bit surprised by all the positive comments…. Those who have worked with her can attest to her being a tyrant, who treats singers like dirt.

  • Piano Lover says:

    I wonder what “” the anti-Barenboim factions.””” can mean in her head.

    Noneless I don’t think anyone can replace DB let it be Pianist and Conductor.
    He had his style.
    His best days are over.
    No one will forget him.
    I will cherish all the recordings I heard of him.

  • Karl says:

    Barenboim will need to quit rather sooner than later.

  • MSP says:

    She can!

  • Alan R Green says:

    Elisabeth Sobotka is brilliant. THey could not have made a better choice.

  • Has-been says:

    great choice. Is anyone naive enough to think it was made without Barenboim’s approval ? Furthermore the Staatsoper would never have survived after the fall of communism without Barenboim’s commitment, prestige and political skill !!

    • Tamino says:

      That‘s overblown hyperbole.
      Of course the traditional institution Berliner Staatsoper would have survived also without Barenboim. Nobody argues his merits though for firmly establishing the house and its orchestra at the very top within the diverse Berlin scene. He managed to get additional funding, that maybe others would not have achieved, maybe. But the house would of course have survived nevertheless.
      Overall his presence in Berlin was a blessing, even if some getting too close to the sun got burned.

  • Peter W. says:

    Barenboims Zeit ist schon seit einiger Zeit abgelaufen. Auch er muss einsehen, dass man rechtzeitig abtreten muss, bevor man über ihn lacht. Außerdem sind seine menschlichen Seiten gegenüber Künstlern und Untergebenen sehr erbärmlich! Ich bin Musiker, ich weiß wovon ich rede …..

  • Dietmar says:

    I wish these stupid speculations could cease once and for all. Do you ever ask yourself ” is it true” before you publish something?

  • Klaus Reinhart says:

    Toscanini, Solti, Maazel, Celibidache in Stuttgart Zeiten auch nicht sehr gut verträglich