Anyone who brushes aside and says I don’t need Bayreuth, but Wagner does, doesn’t have to starve and might get his money’s worth in other houses too. It’s not always cheaper, see Salzburg, and ultimately there’s no escaping the evil director’s theater that Wagner purists despise. But one after anonther.
The Hungarian Kornél Mundruczó has given the people of Munich a new one “Lohengrin” brought, which, after a first series of performances last December, can now be seen again at the Opera Festival (July 16 and 19). The production with Klaus Florian Vogt – once again – in the title role was well received by the Munich audience, above all because of Johanni van Oostrum, the South African soprano embodied another Elsa type, unstable and yet strong, defiant. Munich is still looking for smart names for this Lohengrin, after Richard Jones’ “Häuslebauer-Lohengrin” could die in opera-goers’ vernacular “Winke-Lohengrin”. Because there is a lot of obsessive waving and waving in this production.
Anyone who found Munich’s Lohengrin a disappointment or an impertinence, or both, should try Nuremberg. Already in May (May 14th, 27th and 29th as well as June 11th and July 2nd) returns David Hermanns version from 2019 back to the State Theater. Here, too, caution is advised for Wagner traditionalists, especially the humorless be warned. Because director Hermann has a sense of comedy, quotes the costumes from “Lord of the Rings” or “Games of Thrones” and even plays Parzival and Wotan, who actually have no place in this opera. But you can also just close your eyes and listen with pleasure: Joana Mallwitz, who is still General Music Director, conducts, Eric Laporte sings Lohengrin, Emily Newton as Elsa.
And now to Salzburg and Nikolaus Bachler, Munich’s ex-director is now known to be responsible for the Easter Festival. There he becomes one “Tannhauser” (April 1st, April 5th and April 9th), which should look quite familiar to the Munich public, provided they have got hold of tickets for these illustrious performances. Again there are those bare-breasted ladies shooting arrows at a moon with giant eyes and ears, again many white curtains, menhirs of gold, strong, mystical images. Yes, it is Romeo Castellucci’s Munich production from 2017, which will be seen in an adaptation (so they say) in the large Festspielhaus. Klaus Florian Vogt sang the title role at the Bavarian State Opera, and Jonas Kaufmann from Neu-Salzburg will make his debut as Tannhäuser at the Easter Festival.