Nelsons backs out of Bayreuth

Andris Nelsons has pulled out of conducting Parsifal at this year’s Bayreuth Festival, just weeks before opening night. It is not the first time such off-stage drama has happened at Bayreuth, which has seen numerous squabbles among Wagner’s heirs who run it. As yet the exact reason for the cancellation is unclear.

A statement released on Nelsons’ website said: ‘Owing to a differing approach in various matters, the atmosphere at this year’s Bayreuth Festival did not develop in a mutually comfortable way for all parties. With regret, the Bayreuth Festival agrees to Andris Nelsons’ request.

Andris Nelsons is deeply sorry to be sharing this news with his friends, supporters and colleagues and hopes very much for understanding and sends his warmest wishes to all.’

Rumours have circulated that Nelsons was not happy with certain aspects of the production, with some speculating that music director Christian Thielemann’s presence in rehearsals may have caused problems. However, a spokesman for the festival said that Thielemann sat in at Nelsons’ request.

The opera will be directed by Uwe Eric Laufenberg, and is due to open on 25 July. As a result of the cancellation Nelsons may extend his stay at this summer’s Tanglewood festival.

Nelsons’ replacement has yet to be announced.