Bayreuth (24. Juni 2007) Enttäuschende Quereinsteiger : Das Stichwort Heiner Müller etwa nutzt Meier zur Abrechnung mit den “Quereinsteigern” unter den Regisseuren. Die Zusammenarbeit mit Künstlern, die – wie der Autor Heiner Müller – aus anderen Genres kommen und “von denen man sich einen frischen Blick erwartete”, sei für sie “immer enttäuschend gewesen”, sagt die Sängerin. Ihr Fazit: “Die haben schon mal eine witzige Idee. Aber die trägt doch keine ganze Produktion.” (…)

JIWON: I remember that there was something very special in Heiner Mueller’s production, which Barenboim wanted to share with him and realize through his music, and that Waltraud Meier didn’t quite match Mueller’s ideas. This is not my opinion. I read it from forumites somewhere. I remember… though not sure of my correct memory, because, by then, I knew nothing about Wagner, being just busy at studying the voices and reading forumites’ opinion about “Why Wagner wrote inferior Isolde for his Tristan?” Then I watched Barenboim’s Meier only to know that Meier looks like a whore, who makes Barenboim blind and destroys Barenboim’s everything. Curiously, there was one reviewer, who mentioned that he still preferred Muller’s Bayreuth production. It was in the, where I found it while clicking couple of “Michelle+DeYoung.” Even if you beg me to find the exact address, I won’t click it again. 

JIWON: Now, Waltraud Meier doesn’t look like a whore. Her German diction doesn’t sound comical. She looks like an absolute artist in Vulgar-Wagner. She’d never listened to anybody around her, and mastered her own kind of vocal techniques. The best example of Euro Trash… It now seems that ruling Barenboim’s Staatsoper is not enough for her, that she is hunger for more power, and that she wants to own Gudrun Wagner’s Green Hill. (24. Juni 2007) “Bayreuth? Warum eigentlich nicht?” : Auch in Bayreuth waren häufig “Quereinsteiger” am Werk. Aber eben auch “kluge Leute mit einer umfassenden Kenntnis der Dinge wie Götz Friedrich” oder ein “ausgesprochenes Bühnentier” wie Jürgen Flimm, sagt Meier. Aus Bayreuth kennt Meier auch Daniel Barenboim. „Er ist für mich im Moment der vollkommenste Dirigent”, sagt Waltraud Meier. „Seine Proben zum Beispiel sind Proben, die ich wirklich als solche bezeichne. Nicht nur ein einmaliges Durchspielen, wie das heute oft passiert. Proben heißt für mich, sich über Stellen klar zu werden, um sie zu verbessern. Sich nicht nur über Tempi klar zu werden, sondern auch über Dynamik, Phrasierungen und so weiter. Diese Arbeit bis in die kleinsten musikalischen Details ist mit Barenboim unglaublich intensiv. Und man sieht und hört es am Ergebnis.” (…) (Waltraud Meier) The tremendously fruitful collaboration with Patrice Chéreau in Alban Berg’s Wozzeck brought about the desire for further joint productions. At the opening of the 2007/2008 season Waltraud Meier will sing Isolde in the new Tristan production of Chéreau at La Scala in Milan under the musical direction of Daniel Barenboim. For years Waltraud Meier had close links with the concerns and aims of the West Eastern Divan Youth Orchestra with whom she worked on many tours. In the 2008 season she will give, amongst others, an open air concert with this orchestra in the Berlin Waldbühne.

JIWON: What is funny about this interview is that Meier expresses her yearning for Barenboim while playing under Nagano, the poorest opera-conductor, who can’t finish his job without putting German heroine in his program. Even if Meier’s private relationship with Barenboim is well-known, it is a proper manner that she should express her respect toward the maestro in her hometown. Am I wrong? Meier just picked up Barenboim and mentioned her favorite director, whom she wants to work with, then boasted her bigmouth AGAIN; „Und man sieht und hört es am Ergebnis.” Perhaps, she forgot to read comments from Barenboim-lovers, or only remembers what she wanted to read.  However this time, Meier didn’t boast that her Isolde was above Flagstad. Instead, she emphsized her contribution to Barenboim’s Divan-Ensemble. WHY? Curiously, it was also right after one of my previous e-mails, which main subject was about Zubin Meha. So, I wanted to know the full story. WHY?,jq733537ps0ahm3i~cm.asp (October 28, 2007) Der ewige Wolfgang! Wie die Bayreuther Festspiele ihren Ruf verspielen : “bla-bla-bla,” sagt Jürgen Flimm. 

1. JIWON: While reading valuable comments from “La Voce Del Loggione,” I really wanted to be at La Scala. I wanted to go to Bayreuth. I now know quite a lot about La Scala, then what about Bayreuth? After wasting my time with useless pros, I switched my channel to the bloggers, who posted useful information, which all sound like the fact.

2. Christoph Schlingensief wouldn’t mind running the Bayreuth Festival together with some equal-minded friends.

3. The protagonists (Katharina Wagner/Thielemann/Ruzicka vs. Eva/Nike Wagner) are supposed to be delivering written-up Festival management strategies to the Board of Directors in the near future.

4. Jürgen Flimm (director of the 2000-Bayreuth Ring and intendant of the Salzburg Festival) is quite critical of WoWa’s Festival Administration. But then, Gudrun Wagner disappeared from the scene.

5. JIWON: Curiously, Flimm’s interview appeared on October 28, 2007. It was after Meier announced that Barenboim is her toy and her ideal partner is Flimm, “ausgesprochenes Bühnentier.” Everybody knows that Barenboim is hopeless whenever Meier wears a red dress. But then, has Meier been Flimm’s ideal actress to hit the Bayreuth?


I don’t understand.

I do understand a dispute inside Wagner family; a typical royal family. But what’s the reason of one conductor or director ruling the National Treasure of Germany? Autocracy is dangerous in any place. Especially in the world of music, where there is no perfect human being, no perfect instrument, and therefore, no perfect sound, it would only ruin what they inherited from their predecessors. Whatever his private life was, Germany was where Wagner wrote his music drama because it was where he inherited all his musical talents from his predecessors. What he needs now is his juniors, who are qualified enough to preserve the gifts from THEIR GOD, who are open-minded enough to accept new ideas to create MORE of Wagner. (Well… honestly peaking, I am thinking about what could be called MORE of Wagner:-)

The present situation of Bayreuth looks nothing but a party strife.


Thielemann versus Barenboim?

Should everybody join a particular group to make their favorites antagonists? Shall the winner enjoy his absolute power until his death, even while suffering from senile dementia? Will another howling of Meier Nr.2 bewitch Bayreuth’s Boss so that we eventually forget how to expect the voice of “Heldentenor” on the stage, which is famed for its unique design and acoustics?

Who is a decision-maker after You-Know-When? What’s the role of Richard Wagner Foundation? Go to Information -> Kontakt -> Gesellschaft der Freunde von Bayreuth e.V. Die Gesellschaft der Freunde von Bayreuth e.V. (b. 1949): Sie ist ein gemeinnütziger Verein, dessen Zweck es ist, die Bayreuther Festspiele zu unterstützen. Sie wirkte bei der Errichtung der Richard-Wagner-Stiftung Bayreuth am 02.05.1973 mit. In deren Stiftungsrat besitzt die Gesellschaft der Freunde von Bayreuth e.V. 2 von insgesamt 24 Stimmen. (July 31, 2007) A Bayreuth Drama Worthy of, Well, Wagner: The outcome is in the hands of the Richard Wagner Foundation, which owns the festival’s theater, the Festspielhaus, and subsidizes the event. But while Wolfgang has only one vote on a 24-member board dominated by German, Bavarian and Upper Franconian officials, he has so far had his way with the foundation. Now, with his health failing and demands for a clear succession mounting in the German press, the question is whether the foundation will take up the issue this fall, and, more specifically, whether it will dare to flout the will of the festival’s ruling patriarch. The last time it tried to do so, it was simply ignored.


Probably, the decision-makers already know what should be done first, and what should follow what…

Until now, I had to attack Maestro Thielemann whenever it was time to support Barenboim. I had to criticize this name, (the word “attack” is more proper term here), because he was a German-born who looked obviously elated at the news, “a young Karajan” praised by the German politician, in Berlin where the rivalry is its only favorite language, and where Barenboim, unlike Thielemann, was working too hard, even sacrificing his own career to save his dying ensemble (sic!).

Though I still think this complimentary term, “a young Karajan,” doesn’t quite explain the characteristics of the young baton technique from Germany, I am now so sick of Barenboim’s Lindenoper, which is in fact of a private company of “Meier & Glander & Co.” and, despite all my hard working, doing anything but contributing to Barenboim’s Furtwangler dream that I wish whoever makes his Wagner out of Meier’s foul Wagner to rule the Green Hill. (German forumites had called Meier ein fauler Sopran, hadn’t them???)

I really wish Maestro Thielemann to improve in a real way and his Isolde to become a real great Wagnerian Diva, who could make her maestro another Furtwangler. Then, Barenboim shall listen to Thielemann’s Wagnerian singers and realize that the voices in Thielemann’s recordings sound better than his live performance. Then, something shall try his lungs out at the bottom of Barenboim’s heart.

I want to go to Bayreuth.

I want to join the history of Bayreuth as much as I want to be present at La Scala while they achieve what they can achieve. Frankly, however, I am not interested in Wagner as a composer and an owner of the Green Hill, or his family business. Rather, I am very interested in the history of Wagnerian performers; singers, orchestra members, and the conductors.

Reading old articles about great Wagnerian SINGERs gave me one question: Why is it impossible to find Wagner Voice Coach in these days? Everybody is just busy at supporting or blaming Meier’s singing and acting. But has there been any kind of academic debate whenever the subject of their debate is Waltraud Meier? In those days, the singers had to be trained first by their voice coach before being judged by their fan-club or so-called music critics. In these days, there is nothing. What’s more, some are sincerely imitating Waltraud Meier and killing their career rather than earning Meier-like fame. The more talented they are, the more miserable they sound and look. The rest of them are struggling while DOING Wagner with Meier or employees of Meier’s Staatsoper. (December 8, 2007) “Storey doesn’t speak German but I’ve seldom heard a better diction in the role of Tristan than him. He is a real, real discovery I (Barenboim) think his life will change.” Lauritz Melchior (1890-1973) Danish tenor, active in the pre-war years. Not a great actor or a subtle musician, but his tireless throat, crystalline diction and warmth of personality made him a vocally unsurpassed Tristan and Siegfried. A terrific wag, he was notorious for making his sopranos laugh on stage. Astrid Varnay, Great Wagnerian Soprano, Dies at 88 : When Varnay was 19, Flagstad advised her to begin studying with Hermann Weigert, a coach at the Metropolitan Opera whom Varnay subsequently married.

JIWON: It’s been ten years that my problem with Barenboim’s Meier started with her comical diction, which is never similar to all the legendary singers, whose Wagner I can still taste whenever I go to the library. I couldn’t understand not only why Waltraud Meier was involved in all Barenboim’s important project and destroyed them, but also why this German whore try to coach all Barenboim’s singers when her Wagner never sounds like her seniors. Then, it was in articles about Astrid Varnay, in which I learned that there EXISTED a Wagner Coach in opera house. Who were or is a Wagner diction coach at the Green Hill? I’ve never heard of it. Hence, I started my research. 2 November 2007) Bayreuth Singers – 2 : Luise Reuss-Belce (1862-1945) was a principal singer in Bayreuth until 1912. She eventually became the dramatic coach at Bayreuth. (Spring, 2005) Luise Belce was born in Vienna (…) After her singing career she directed opera and was a formidable singing coach at Bayreuth until 1933.  JSTOR: The Wagner Compendium: A Guide to Wagner’s Life and Music : Wagner’s plans for a singing school in Mu- nich and the published views of Julius Hey, Wagner’s vocal coach at the 1876 Bayreuth Festival, lead Jens Malte

JIWON: This site didn’t work, so I had to use another search engine; Julius Hey, Wagner, Diction, Coach, and so on. There was nothing except… Wagner and Bel Canto : Wagner wrote to the vocal pedagogue Julius Hey, in 1875, during preparations. for the first Bayreuth Festival. 1. Wagner’s cri de coeur about his inability … (This item requires a subscription* to The Opera Quarterly Online)


Training on the stage is not same as taking studio-lessons at school. Pavarotti’s famous high Cs was possible when he took an advice from Sutherland’s husband and saved his voice during the rehearsal (in a small room). Who is Wagner Diction Coach in these days at the Green Hill, where the voice of Heldentenor cannot be heard for the very special reason?

I am still not interested in Wagner as a composer, because no matter how I study his life or philosophy, I am not talented enough to blow up all the notes in his score. It took years for me to finally realize why I always became physically sick after performance, during which I was happy to make my favorite sound. I thought it was my mental problem due to the stage fright until I studied about myself; the relationship between my favorite sound and my physical ability.

Besides, I was born a kind of musician, who felt no need to study opera to survive my student/professional life. It was in America, where I had to learn how to listen to the voices. Years later now, I still don’t quite like watching/listening to the popular operas. Listening to the singers is OK, but watching them? It is, after all, the similar story about perhaps-love. It’s just a matter of time before I feel bored with familiar faces wearing the similar costume. I prefer to enjoy various kinds of pop music.

But then, something was happening to me. The more I learned how to enjoy pop music following the latest fads, the more fun it became to watch Wagnerian Singers from old good days. Unlike legendary Old-Names in opera world, where their uniquely proportioned body shape was famous for the beauty of their voice, which makes me somewhat disappointed while watching their performance in old docu-films, Wagnerian Singers in old days were very handsome with gorgeous body. They are even more handsome than the Bayreuth-dwellers in these days, during which Wagner-Fans have been crazy about their sexy Isolde. First of all, it is amazing to watch the size of their lungs. Their breathing capacity is literally unbelievable. Listening to Wagner is not enough. It still can be boring to me. But watching the Wagnerian Singers? It is amazing, way beyond description.

My opinion may be different, very different, even from the scholars. Then, I have to tell this. Performers are not like composers. Each performer needs a proper instrument, and the singers are equipped with their body only. Some of them are born a musician, who has no choice but allowing his instrument make better sound. Few of them are born a real musician, which is called a Talent by God. How can they deny their instinct? It is like, a human being is born and wants sex without orgasm from his lover. Mozart wrote some notes. Wagner also wrote a sequence of notes, but he wrote so many huge notes that the performers have no choice but utilizing 101% of their physical ability. Unlike other low voices, there is only one way for the high voices to master all the notes Wagner wrote. They are even different from some instrumentalists, who, regardless of their talent, could manage all his notes with his favorite instruments.

I know I am not in a position to lecture on the proper Wagner German Diction. But then, why I’ve never heard Wagner specialists debating on this issue? Also, I’ve never heard their curiosity about it. In fact, they are just busy at discussing about stage, philosophy, or Furtwangler. So, I am only writing about what I hear whenever they praise Meier and insult her rivals, who were born a musician trying to sing.

I am not interested in which Wagner member rules the Green Hill. I believe that all the family members should accept and follow the vote of 24-member board. I am just interested in who (will) be the Wagner Coach there, and want to organize all the valuable sources I could find in their library. My issue will be Performance Practice. I can hear all the talents. I can watch all their body languages. I can have a curiosity about their hard working. I can read all the comments by their fans elsewhere, and organize them. Finally, I can advise the singers how to improve.

It means that I invite all the lovers of Wagner Diction to participate in the history of Bayreuth.

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