Bayreuth loses its Wotan. Yes, again

Bayreuth loses its Wotan. Yes, again


norman lebrecht

June 12, 2022

The Swedish bass-baritone John Lundgren has pulled out of this summer’s Ring cycle ‘on personal grounds’.

Lundgren, 53, has just finished a tough season and may not feel up to the demands of an exacting new production.

He will be replaced by Egils Silins in Rheingold and by Tomasz Konieczny in Walküre and Siegfried.

Lundgren was Bayreuth’s second-choice Wotan after Günther Groissböck withdrew.


  • Alexander says:

    There where many reviews from the revival of the vienna “Ring”, who wrote about his voice-problems as Wotan. It is either the wrong role for his voice or his voice is tired.

    • Martin Snell says:

      Enough speculation. Singers, like anyone, are sensitive beings. We are not machines. “The voice is the window on the soul”, as an earlier Bayreuth Wotan, Sir Donald McIntyre, once told me during my formative years. John Lundgren’s father died recently.

  • Marcello says:

    Konieczny is also Wotan in Zurich, opening night of the new production on September 18.

  • Maria says:

    As a singer myself, I get very suspicious about ‘personal problems’ as an excuse to back out of something. Just say and be honest with the paying public. It’s not about being nosey, just honest.

    • Mikhaïl hallak says:

      Suspicious??? If your plane pilot says he can’t fly the plane, do you need to know why?
      Why not trusting that canceling is an extremely complicated decision to take for singer?
      Why this need to know every detail?
      Rubber necking at best.

      • Maria says:

        It is not complicated for any singer. We all cancel from time to time, and you owe it to your paying public why you have let them down. That’s all! we are only singers in the profession because we have an audience. No, we don’t need to know every detail by any means, just why they are not singing when the public have paid. Yes, I would want to know why the pilot couldn’t fly and my plane was cancelled!

  • Rabengeraun says:

    It’s the curse of the Ring!

  • Julien says:

    I heard Lundgren as Wotan in Vienna in late April. He was acceptable in Rheingold, and very good in die Walküre, maybe a little tired at the end.
    His performances were well received by the public. There was a lone booer on the two nights, probably a maniac or some fool with a personal grudge.

  • DG says:

    Netrebko is ready to step in as Wotan!

  • ThrownOutOfTheKremlinForSinging says:

    Wotan is one of the very few roles which still requires an athletic, meaty heavyweight voice, even in these days of electronics-abuse. Witness the fact that Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau only recorded the young Wotan of DAS RHEINGOLD, never a full WALKÜRE Wotan nor a Wandrer. (I think there’s a studio recording of him singing the finale of DIE WALKÜRE somewhere, but not the whole part.) You can’t use differential miking and selective enhancement on these parts, because if you don’t sing big, you can’t sing them at all. (Walter Berry learned this the hard way.)

    OK, now I have to go listen to Ferdinand Frantz singing it.

  • Herby Neubacher says:

    Wer will in einer solchen Klapsen Inszenierung schon den Wotan geben?! Die bewerfen sich doch gegenseitig mit Farbe und treten im Nachthemd auf. Na Danke für Obst und Gemüse sagt Wagner und der Wotan in spe und Tschüss und wech …