Nathalie Stutzmann claims Bayreuth debut

Nathalie Stutzmann claims Bayreuth debut


norman lebrecht

July 23, 2022

The festival has announced its 2023 season with just one new production – Parsifal, featuring Joseph Calleja in the title role.

Among the revivals, the French conductor Nathalie Stutzmann will make her Bayreuth debut with Tannhäuser.


  • Freewheeler says:

    She can hold my baton anything! Haw, haw, haw! Because our opera society is also looking for a new conductor.

  • william osborne says:

    Happy news! In the last decade or so, the representation of women in the orchestra has increased from 5% to about 20% when I last looked.

  • IP says:

    And Sumi Jo as Kundry.

  • RW2013 says:

    With Jaroussky singing Venus or conducting Parsifal?

  • Yodi says:

    To think all the great conductors in the past, some still alive, who never made it to Bayreuth (in part, because however great they were, there was someone even greater already occupying the post).

    It is a great day for mediocrity today, you just skip the line, not by merit, but by some biological factor.

    • Chris says:

      Since when was bayreuth only for the greatest conductors alive (never)?

      And on what grounds do you think NS doesn’t “qualify?” Her performances this season with various orchestras were very strong.

      • M2N2K says:

        She is a superb musician.

      • Novagerio says:

        Chris: “To think all the great conductors in the past, some still alive, who never made it to Bayreuth” is not the same as saying that Bayreuth “only was for the grestest”.
        But Bayreuth had indeed the greatest: Toscanini, Furtwängler, Muck, Knappertsbusch, Krauss, Karajan, Jochum, Böhm, Kempe, Keilberth, Sawallisch, Carlos Kleiber, Boulez, Solti, Barenboim, Levine, Sinopoli, and lately Thielemann and Petrenko.

        Some became great while in Bayreuth, like Horst Stein, Otmar Suitner, Berislav Klobučar, Silvio Varviso, Peter Schneider and a few others.
        Those who didn’t make it for various reasons were Mahler, Bruno Walter, Erich Kleiber, Klemperer (who was due to appear in 1959, but suffered one of his innumerable accidents), Markevich, Giulini and many more.

        Any of these names you don’t recognise?

  • Hermann Lederer says:

    And I thought this years conductor roster (except for Thielemann certainly) is the possible bottom level. But no: the creativity to make things even worse seems unlimited in this place…..

    • Opr8r says:

      Say what you will about most of the lineup, but Axel Kober just had widespread acclaim for his Ring in Vienna, it’s too bad he doesn’t seem to be coming back either. His Tannhauser last year was wonderful.

    • Lila says:

      Agreed. How did they go from Thielemann/Petrenko/Nelsons in 2015 (I know, there was the bust-up and the latter ended up leaving) in 2015 to Stutzmann/Heras-Casado/whoever in 2023?! You start to wonder whether the big names are actively avoiding to conduct in Bayreuth. Not saying that the conducting will be bad but none gets music lovers excited to head to Bayreuth.

  • Barry says:

    Her May Philadelphia Orchestra program that includes Tchaikovsky’s 6th is being broadcast here Sunday afternoon and Monday evening (U.S. East Coast time) for anyone interested in hearing her work.

    I’ve been impressed by what I’ve heard from her in Philadelphia so far. The only possible criticism is that her programming has been conservative to a fault. But I would guess the Orchestra hired her as Principal Guest Conductor with the notion of having her conduct popular warhorses; such as Tchaikovsky’s 6th, Brahms 1st, etc.

    • Barry says:

      And actually, there is a link to listen to it on demand for up to two weeks.

    • Novagerio says:

      Barry, you cannot compare a Tchaikovsky symphony played by a top-orchestra (on auto-pilot, for sure!) with conducting Tannhäuser in Bayreuth – of all places!

      While they are at it, I’m surprised they didn’t invite Andreas Scholl to sing Kundry.
      And Domingo as Gurnemanz.

    • Yodi says:

      Heard it, hated it.

      Rhythm all over the place, sections playing against each other.

      Hard to tell who was following whom, the orchestra or the conductor, either way, no one was a leader.

  • Ed Manly says:

    This is excellent news. Stutzmann already performed Wagner’s Tannhäuser at Monte Carlo opera in 2017 to great critical acclaim. The big national daily newspaper Die Welt had written then:
    “What a stroke of luck at the podium. At the head of Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra playing with Gaulish wit was contralto Nathalie Stutzmann. She is still singing, but has built up also a conductor’s career in recent years. And this Wagner debut was both powerful and blissful at the same time. As Stutzmann understands it from the very first notes, she gives this music a completely different, non-Teutonic sound. (…) Stutzmann gives the sound a delicate sensuality, with shimmering strings and voluptuous woodwinds. This Wagner sounds erotic without exaggeration, he dances and lures, puts on intensity and gentle seduction, loves bright colours and light rhythms. The German, dark, sluggish, which would have otherwise wiped the Bacchanale, is here gladly lacking. (…) This “Tannhäuser” sensation on the Mediterranean is perfect. And Bayreuth for 2019 is truly under pressure.”