Improbable combination of 2007?
Can Christian Thielemann really work with Katharina Wagner? He seems to think so.
I am taking a break from my sort-of-almost-interesting-to-classicists work on Tacitus' Annales and the SC de Cn. Pisone patre and I saw that item on AC Douglas' blog. Frankly, I wish that I kept working on the conflict between Germanicus and Gnaeus Piso in Syria.
Perhaps they're trying to resurrect the successful combination of Wieland Wagner and conductors like Hans Knappertsbusch, Joseph Keilberth, and Clemens Krauss; of course, Fraulein Wagner is no Wieland Wagner, and Herr Thielemann is no Hans Knappertsbusch. The Schlingensief-Boulez Parsifal of several years back, now, makes more sense as a collaboration - to say nothing of the 1976 Ring. This puts me more in mind of the Harry Kupfer-Daniel Barenboim Ring of the early 1990s. A talented Wagner conductor paired off with a borderline-idiot director.
More and more, I am of two minds. If the Bayreuth board really wants to have a sixth Wagner run the Festspiele, then it needs to be Eva Wagner-Pasquier. Nike has pretty well boxed herself into a corner with some profoundly misguided ideas. Katharina can have it when Eva is finished. Based on what I have seen of the new Meistersinger, Katharina would have a hard time getting elected artistic director of the Indianapolis Opera, to say nothing of Bayreuth. If they come to their senses and realize that no one since Wieland Wagner has had the artistic brilliance to have the premier venue for the works of Richard Wagner under his aegis, then they just need to wait Wolfgang out and elect someone more consonant with the requirements of Bayreuth.
Why Thielemann would cast his lot with Katharina Wagner is beyond me. He seems to be backing a winner, as Wolfgang won't retire until Katharina is guaranteed the Festspielleiter position. I get the impression, though, that the Bayreuth board is not entirely happy with this situation. If I had to bet, I would say that Katharina will have competition. Thielemann could just sign some contracts now and have an assured position in the pit for as long as he can convince Wolfgang to allow him.
You watch: I predict that this mess will lead to a major reorganization of how Bayreuth is governed and how its leadership is selected.