Christian Thielemann is to conduct Tannhäuser at this year's Bayreuth Festival after last year's conductor Thomas Hengelbrock failed to sign a new contract with Festival management.
The presence of Germany's most popular conductor on the podium will undoubtedly reduce the risk of embarrassingly empty seats for Sebastian Baumgarten's 'controversial' (i.e.'crap') production, which debuted last year.
Thielemann is also down for a brand new production of Der fliegende Holländer. If he carries on with both next year, then the addition of Rienzi to his schedule will make him one of the busiest Bayreuth conductors since Heinz Tietjen in1934.