03 August 2011
Sebastian Baumgarten: Tannhäuser, Bayreuth 2011
All photos: Enrico Nawrath / Bayreuther Festspiele
Wagneropera.net's critic Mark Berry searched for what might be valuable in Sebastian Baumgarten's production of Tannhäuser at the Bayreuth Festival this summer to attempt to discover what grounds there might be for a dissenting opinion. Unfortunately, that was to prove a devil’s advocacy too far.
Joop van Lieshour’s ‘obsessive Installation’ is the principal character (‘Hauptrolle’) in Sebastian Baumgarten's production of Tannhäuser at Bayreuth – so much for Tannhäuser and Elisabeth – and this installation’s business is recycling of human excrement into food and alcohol, the latter so as to pacify and therefore to prevent rebellion. (As the late Anna Russell used to say, ‘I’m not making this up, you know!’…
Read Mark Berry's review: Sebastian Baumgarten: Tannhäuser, Bayreuth 2011
According to Mark Berry, two performances were excellent. Günther Groissböck displayed the most recognisably ‘Wagnerian’ voice, and sang handsomely indeed as the Landgrave. And if Michael Nagy could not efface my memories of Christian Gerhaher at the aforementioned Covent Garden performances, no one in my experience ever has, whether live or on record. Nagy’s Wolfram was attentive to all aspects of the text, and impressively acted too: I do not recall Wolfram’s jealousy registering quite so clearly, or movingly.
Camilla Nylund as Elisabeth: Dich, teure Halle; grüss' ich wieder.