Wednesday, June 03, 2015


The Bayreuth Festival is the only festival in the world that can sell out all of its tickets without bothering to tell the audience who will be singing. With the curtain up on July 25, less than 2 months away, the casting finally went up last week. From the main schedule page, click an opera's name in the right-hand column, then click Cast.

My personal highlights? Annette Dasch and Klaus Florian Vogt as the not-all-that-happy couple in Lohengrin, Wolfgang Koch as Wotan, and Anja Kampe as both Sieglinde and Isolde.


Henry Holland said...

What do you have tickets to? Um, you are going this year, right? :-)

Lisa Hirsch said...

All of them. :-)

Henry Holland said...


Let's see......Stephen Gould and Anja Kemp as Tristan and Isolde, Thielemann in the pit, nice.

Klaus Florian Vogt should be a fine Lohengrin, not sure about the rest of the cast.

The Ring casting looks just OK, haven't heard/heard of most of the people in the Hollander.

Too bad it's a non-Parsifal year. :-)

Lisa Hirsch said...

Yeah, the Tristan cast and conductor - no questions. I mean, I've never heard Gould, but I suffered through the worst Tristan in history back in 1998. Gould can't possibly be that bad. :)

Dasch is supposed to be good. I have heard Lang a couple of times, including the last Lohengrin in San Francisco. She won't push as hard in the Festspielhouse. %^)

Wolfgang Koch is an interesting singer. He is on the Thielemann Parsifal from Salzburg, as Amfortas and Klingsor, and is excellent. Impossible to tell how big the voice is, of course.

Well, my requirement for going for Bayreuth tickets was "they are doing Tristan or Parsifal, but not Meistersinger." :) The next Parsifal up will be a new production, not the Herheim.

Henry Holland said...

I know Stephen Gould because I have a live recording of him singing Paul in Die Tote Stadt from the Deutsche Oper Berlin with Christian Thielemann conducting. It's an incredible performance, maybe my favorite of that opera.

Was that 1998 Tristan the SFO one with Runnicles and Wolfgang Schmidt and Elizabeth Connell? If so, I went to that, I loved the first act, the last two were just deadly, it was so odd how a performance could just "die" like that.

Glad to hear of your antipathy to Die Meistersingers. I went to a production at SFO and it was almost as excruciating for me as having to listen to a Handel opera. :-) At the end, I started to talk about it with my friend, I got "Shusss"ed by the guy next to me who had had a religious experience, he expected me to have total reverence for it. Me: "I've just sat here for 4 and 1/2 hours listening to this ghastly opera, I'll damn well talk if I want to". :-)

Lisa Hirsch said...

Die tote Stadt would certainly be a match for Thielemann's particular skills.

Yes, that was the '98 cast. Don't know which performance you saw, but I went to three (first, last, something in between) and they were all great, though the second act varied great from super-fast to just a little faster than usual. Schmidt was awful, Connell was lovely, Victor von Halem and Violeta Urmana were fantastic.

Well, not only is Meistersinger about 45 minutes too long, but it was torture listening to James Morris for so long in his extremely dried-out state.