ARCHIV - 03.10.2018, Berlin: Daniel Barenboim dirigiert in der Staatsoper Unter den Linden. (zu dpa "Barenboim krank - Thielemann und Guggeis übernehmen «Ring»-Zyklen") Foto: Michael Kappeler/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

For health reasons, Daniel Barenboim has to give up his plan to conduct a new production of Richard Wagner’s “Ring des Nibelungen” at the Berlin State Opera from October 2nd. “I’m still struggling with the consequences of the vasculitis I was diagnosed with in the spring and I’m following the advice of my treating physicians with this decision,” said the 79-year-old Maestro on Tuesday. Working with the director Dmitri Tcherniakov as well as the “great ensemble” and the Staatskapelle Berlin was “a particularly fulfilling one for me”, said Barenboim. “But I must now prioritize my health and focus on my full recovery.”

Christian Thielemann will step in for him and conduct the four premieres. As is usually only the case at the Bayreuth Festival, the new “Ring” on Unter den Linden should be out within a week. Thielemann is very familiar with the tetralogy and is regarded worldwide as one of the leading Wagner specialists. In addition to the premiere week, Christian Thielemann will also take on another cyclical performance at the end of October. The performances of the second “Ring” cycle will be conducted by the Staatskapelle’s conductor, Thomas Guggeis. Intendant Matthias Schulz said on Tuesday that he was very grateful to both conductors for stepping in at short notice. And he added: “It is extremely sad that Daniel Barenboim is now unable to conduct the new production of the ‘Ring’ – a unique project that is very important to him and the whole house. The preparations have been going on for many years and we have done everything to make the ‘Ring’ possible with Daniel Barenboim – precisely in the year of his 80th birthday.”