A vintage year for Bayreuth

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Posted August 10, 2015

Gripping in every way Bayreuth 2015 is shaping up to be a vintage year, by Hugh Canning, London Sunday Times, August 9, 2015

Jay Hunter Morris in Santa Fe production of "Cold Mountain"

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Wagnerian Jay Hunter Morris takes on the role of the villian Teague in Jennifer Higdon's new Civil War opera "Cold Mountain" based on the best selling Charles Fraizer novel and the subsequent feature film.  Tenors aren't usually cast as villians, but after performing Captain Ahab in "Moby Dick" Hunter Morris has what it takes to create a dark character. Hear his unusual venue for warming up.

Opera Philadelphia will perform the work in 2016 and Minnesota Opera will perform it in 2018.

More on Jess Thomas Bio-pic

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Victor Thomas and Jess Thomas Jr. have taken the next steps in the effort to produce a biographical feature film about their father - Jess Thomas.

You can view the Facebook Page and get some more information.

The working title is "I am Siegfried!"

There are also some photos from the January 2015 program presented by Jess Jr. and Victor.

Here's the link:


Have you had too much Wagner?

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Posted August 6, 2015

This comes from Jack Firestone who just left Bayreuth for Salzburg:


You have had too much Wagner when:

1. You have replaced your doorbell with one that rings the four-tone Monsalvat motiv.

2. You reside in a high rise apartment building and you stow assorted brass instruments on your balcony.

Last run for Neuenfels' Lohengrin in Bayreuth

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Posted July 29, 2015

Controversial in 2010, Neuenfels' Lohengrin has become one of the great Bayreuth productions in the company of Chereau's Ring.  It will retire after this summer.  Klaus Florian Vogt, who has been singing the title role since 2011, will be singing Parsifal in 2016.

Voice of the Metropolitan Opera Margaret Juntwait

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Posted July 28, 2015

The golden voice of Margart Juntwait that was so familiar to opera lovers listening to the Met broadcasts for the last decade will be missed.  Here are two articles on how she started her on-air career at the New York City radio station WQXR and then at the Met.  She once described her role as presenting music in a way that was "friendly, engaging and decidedly unstuffy."

WSNC Member Tribute to Margaret Juntwait


Posted July 28, 2015

WSNC member John P. Wagner made the acquaintance of MET Opera Host Margaret Juntwait some time ago. John has blogged his thoughts on Ms. Juntwait who died recently. You can John's blog post here:



Greece Plans New Cultural Center and Ring Cycle

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Posted July 27, 2015
Good News/Bad News comes from WSNC Member Andy Rombakis:
The bad news: Greece is in the middle of a horrible financial crisis.
The good news: this is not stopping them from building a multimillion-Euro cultural center and fantastic new opera house (so typically Greek, but it looks like it is coming from private funds donated by the Niarchos family.)

Haus Wahnfried opens today

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Posted July 26, 2015

Wagner's newly restored house, now a museum, is now open to visitors.  He, Cosima, and his dog Russ were buried in the garden behind.  The Siegfried Wagner House is next door.


2016 Bayreuth Festspiele Casting is Announced

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Posted July 25, 2015

Advance planning is part of any opera company's agenda. So here is the 2016 cast listing for next years Festspiele.

There are still some openings, notably Isolde and also Kundry for the new production by Uwe Eric Laufenberg with setsby  Gisbert Jaekel and costumes by Jessica Karge. Andris Nelsons will conduct the new Parsifal production starring Klaus Florian Vogt.. Rumors are flying fast and furiously as severa; well known sopranos are flying in and out of Bayreuth at the moment.

NN = no one is under contract yet.