Who's got the most swaq?* Two men enter, one man leaves. The Bayerische Staatsoper thunderdomes Gesamtkunstwerk vs. commedia umana at its summer festival, which bows on June 27 with a new Olivier Py Trovatore starring camera-ready Kaufmann's Manrico and Harteros' Leonora (which will be streamed here on July 5, totally free).
Based on the Wagner/Verdi bicentennial, this year's festival turns the 200-year-old birthday simmer up to boil, pitting the 19th century heavyweight composers in fisticuffs (as La Fura dels Baus puppets). Swagging rights will be rewritten on June 28 in an open-air performance at Munich's Max-Joseph-Platz.
For the Busseto-born star, Munich stages Rigoletto, Simon Boccanegra, Macbeth, Otello, La Traviata and Don Carlo while the Leipzig hometown hero is repped by Tannhauser, Lohengrin, Tristan & Isolde, a Ring Cycle and Parsifal. There's also George Benjamin's Written on Skin, Boris Godunov, Ariadne auf Naxos and Jorg Widmann's Babylon.
(Copyright: Wilfried Hösl)
*If Wagner were alive today he'd be that photo-bombing guy in a wolf applique t-shirt with the white socks/Birkenstock combo. We imagine Verdi as Nick Wooster with a withering side-eye.