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Interview with Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka — Bayreuth’s sensational new Senta

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Adrianne Pieczonka

[I] met Adrianne at the entrance to the backstage area of Bayreuth’s Festspielhaus. The place just swarmed with a legion of her admirers! Our interview followed soon after, with the focus being mainly on this year’s only new production — that of Jan Philipp Gloger’s boo-inducing Der fliegende Holländer.

Senta or Statue of Liberty?  Credits:  Enrico Nawrath, Jörg Schulze

Senta or Statue of Liberty? Credits: Enrico Nawrath, Jörg Schulze

Lawrence Lock: In this rather odd staging of Holländer, what are some of the physical difficulties imposed on you as the lead singer?

Adrianne Pieczonka: The set consisted of piles of cardboard boxes basically. Most of these were reinforced as I had to stand on them and climb up and over them often. I got used to it but it did pose a challenge of course. Some of the music is challenging to sing and the last thing a singer wants to be thinking is “will I be able to climb on top of those boxes for my big high note”!

Festspielhaus

Festspielhaus

Bayreuth’s Festspielhaus:  a Wagnerite’s mecca

Bayreuth’s Festspielhaus: a Wagnerite’s mecca

LL: It is by now a known fact that Christian Thielemann is the only musician in the history of Bayreuth to be allowed an air-conditioner in his dressing room. Is heat an issue with you at the Festspielhaus? For the audience it certainly is, especially for those who insist on remaining “black-tie” throughout the evening. It’s small wonder some of them pass out during the performance. I did hear a loud call for doctors at the second-cycle Holländer I attended. Were you aware of it?

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