Daniel Barenboim Cancels Participation in Berlin State Opera’s New Der Ring des Nibelungen

By Francisco Salazar

Daniel Barenboim has canceled his participation in the new production of Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Berlin State Opera due to health reasons.

As a result, the tetralogy, which will be staged by Dmitri Tcherniakov, will be conducted by Christian Thielemann for the first and third cycles and Thomas Guggeis for the second cycle.

In a statement, Barenboim said, “It is with great regret that I have to give up conducting the new RING at the Staatsoper for health reasons. I am still struggling with the consequences of the vasculitis I was diagnosed with in the spring, and with this decision I am following the advice of my attending physicians. I am deeply saddened not to be able to conduct the new RING. Working with Dmitri Tcherniakov, the great ensemble and the Staatskapelle Berlin is a particularly fulfilling experience for me. However, I must now give priority to my health and concentrate on my complete recovery.”

He added, “The Staatsoper is very close to my heart. That is why I am very happy that my esteemed colleague Christian Thielemann has agreed to take over the conducting of the first and third cycles at short notice. We have known each other for a long time, and I know that the RING is in extraordinarily good hands with him. Thomas Guggeis, a great young conductor whom I have long supported and appreciated, will take over the second cycle. I wish them and everyone involved all the best with this production.”

General Director Matthias Schulz also released a statement noting, “It is extremely sad that Daniel Barenboim cannot conduct the new production of the RING cycle – a unique undertaking that is very close to his heart and that of the entire house. Preparations have been underway for many years, and we have done everything in our power to make the RING with Daniel Barenboim possible – especially in the year of his 80th birthday. We are deeply indebted to Christian Thielemann for taking over the premiere series and the third cycle. Likewise to Thomas Guggeis, who conducts the second cycle and has been involved in the preparations already for almost a year.”

Der Ring des Nibelungen is set to open on Oct. 2 2022 and will feature a cast that includes Michael Volle, Lauri Vasar, Siyabonga Maqungo, Rolando Villazón, Claudia Mahnke, Johannes Martin Kränzle, Robert Watson, Vida Miknevičiūtė, Mika Kares, Anja Kampe, Andreas Schager, Stephan Rügamer, Peter Rose, Anna Kissjudit, Victoria Randem, and Violeta Urmana.