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

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AP: I was neither aware that a doctor was called in the second performance nor that Thielemann has A/C in his dressing room! This summer was not as hot as previous summers I can remember. I tend to keep a handheld fan (like Carmen!) in my dressing room to cool down. Unfortunately the artists’ dressing rooms receive the afternoon sun so it’s even more hot than normal. I’ve never suffered from heat issues at Bayreuth though I do know a few of my fellow singers have.

Maestro Thielemann meeting his fans in Bayreuth this year, courtesy of the Markgräfen Buchhandlung

Maestro Thielemann meeting his fans in Bayreuth this year, courtesy of the Markgräfen Buchhandlung

LL: Do you consider Thielemann a “singer’s conductor”? Are there any anecdotes you care to share with us?

AP: Yes, absolutely. For me, he is the world’s best conductor of Wagner’s operas. He is with me as a singer 100%, giving me so much energy and support from the pit. This is extraordinary and very much a rare occurrence! Thielemann is very animated in the pit, often smiling and giving thumbs up when he likes something a singer does vocally. Sometimes he just makes me want to laugh and I have to make sure I don’t!

Russian baritone Evgeny Nikitin, the original Dutchman, as seen in this house programme photo Credits: Enrico Nawrath, Jörg Schulze

Russian baritone Evgeny Nikitin, the original Dutchman, as seen in this house programme photo
Credits: Enrico Nawrath, Jörg Schulze

Images of Nikitin all over the news, amidst the big Nazi scandal over a swastika-like tattoo on his chest

Images of Nikitin all over the news, amidst the big Nazi scandal over a swastika-like tattoo on his chest

LL: In the house programme of this year’s Holländer, we see photos of Evgeny Nikitin, the original Dutchman, all over the place, tattoos and all. To my eyes at least, it doesn’t seem to be such a big deal. As an insider, what’s your take on this well publicized scandal?

AP: We were all very shocked when we were told Evgeny had pulled out. It was the afternoon of the public dress rehearsal and we were all shaken up by it. I am not 100% sure if he left on his own accord or whether he was pressured to leave by the administration. I think he should have been able to perform and then receive any criticism flak from the press himself.

Korean baritone Samuel Youn became Bayreuth’s last-minute substitute Dutchman

Korean baritone Samuel Youn became Bayreuth’s last-minute substitute Dutchman

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