Latvian director Alvis Hermanis has backed out of a production of Lohengrin in Bayreuth.
According to MV Online, the director’s political views were not necessarily at the core of his decision to renounce the production.
Last year he quit a production in Hamburg, citing a disdain for Germany’s open border policies toward refugees. He published a statement in three languages on his website regarding that previous incident in Hamburg, requesting that it only be published in full or not used at all (OperaWire will respect his wishes).
This led to calls for theaters to boycott his work, to no obvious success.
The production of “Lohengrin” in Bayreuth will now be turned over to American director Yuval Sharon who is best known for his productions of Wagner’s “Die Walkure” and Adams’ “Dr. Atomic.”
Hermanis is a famed director who recently directed a new production of Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly.” That production, while mainly traditional in design was actually the original version of the opera, a longer edition that is rarely performed in modern times. The production was hailed, as were all of the performers.
He also directed a production of Verdi’s “Il Trovatore” starring Placido Domingo, Anna Netrebko and Franceso Meli. He also staged Berlioz’s “La Damnation de Faust” in Paris.
He will be directing a new production of Wagner’s “Parsifal” at the Vienna State Opera with Nina Stemme as Kundry.