Christian Thielemann to save Salzburg Easter Festival's Parsifal 2013. Joined by Staatskapelle Dresden.

Written By The Wagnerian on Thursday, 9 June 2011 | 7:32:00 pm

Rattle to shake no more?

 Karajan, Peter Alward & Christian Thielemann 1982

As readers are already aware, it's been a busy and chaotic time at the Salzburg Summer Festival's little brother The Salzburg Easter Festival. First of course, were the allegations of corruption, fraud, police investigations, resignations, rumored suicide attempts and loss of , in anyone's estimation, a staggering 5 million dollars.in public funds. Then perhaps an even bigger shock: The Berlin Philharmonic announced that it would be cutting links with the festival at the end of 2012 - after 45 years of association. Instead, it was off to the lure of more money from the Baden-Baden’s Festspielhaus,  beginning as of 2013.

Rattle
The reactions were as expected: ""unfair" said the regional government, "We may take legal action" said the Festival management. This last point is of especial interest to wagnerians as the festival claimed that the Berlin Philharmonic had a contractual agreement to perform the festival's Parsifal in Wagner's bicentenial year - 2013. Without the Philharmonic who would perform Wagner's "ein Bühnenweihfestspiel"? And what of Simon Rattle? As principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, it is tradtion - since Karajan formed the festival - that he would be the festivals artistic director. How could this continue while his orchestra was playing elsewhere (he claimed to be uninvolved in the decision to move to Baden-Baden)?

Well, it seems the answer to both of these questions is finally with us. As of 2013 Christian Thielemann will replace Simon Rattle as musical director and bring his Staatskapelle Dresden as the resident orchestra, until at least 2017

Said the regional government:
"The news that the artistic future of the Salzburg Easter Festival could be secured in such a short time is extraordinarily important for its international reputation,”
While the festival's management  assured all that Parsifal will now still go-ahead but of course with, it could be argued, one the worlds finest Wagnerian conductors as Musical Director

Thielemann
Given Thielemann's conditionals as a wagnerian  of some talent and his experience as "Musical Adviser" at Bayreuth, perhaps the departure of Rattle and the The Berlin Philharmonic  may turnout to be one of the best things to have happened to ailing festival.and 2013's Parsifal.

And while we are on the subject, what about a little more information about 2013's Parsifal? From the festival's website:
The first joint opera production bring together the Salzburg Easter Festival’s new Artistic Director, Christian Thielemann, the Staatskapelle Dresden and the Semperoper Dresden will take place in 2013 with a new production of Wagner’s Parsifal directed by Michael Schulz. Sets and costumes will be designed by Alexander Polzin. The distinguished cast will include Johan Botha as Parsifal, Stephen Milling as Gurnemanz and Wolfgang Koch as Amfortas.