Star conductor Nelsons quits legendary Wagner festival

FRANKFURT, GERMANY- Shooting star Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons has withdrawn from this year's Bayreuth Festival, just a month before he was to open the legendary month-long summer opera festival, organisers said Thursday.
The 37-year-old podium star, currently chief conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and soon to take up the baton at Germany's Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, had been scheduled to conduct the premiere of a new production of Richard Wagner's final opera "Parsifal" this year.

"With utmost respect to the Bayreuth Festival's management and staff, director and his team, assistant conductors, cast, orchestra and chorus, Andris Nelsons has asked the festival's management for rescission of his contract for this summer's production of 'Parsifal'," festival spokesman Peter Emmerich said in an emailed statement.
"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 agreed to Andris Nelsons' request," Emmerich said.
The Bayreuth Festival, the world's oldest summer music festival, was set up by the composer himself and is dedicated exclusively to the performance of his works.
It is currently run by the composer's great granddaughter, Katharina Wagner.
The new production of "Parsifal" is being staged by German director Uwe Eric Laufenberg and is scheduled to open the festival on July 25 in a gala performance attended by Germany's political and social elite.
Chancellor Angela Merkel is a regular visitor, but will not be at the opening night owing to scheduling commitments.

Thursday, June 30th 2016

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