Andris Nelsons has decided to withdraw immediately from this year's Bayreuth Festival. The statement released by Nelsons' management team reads: '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. 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 agrees to Andris Nelsons’ request. Andris Nelsons is deeply sorry to be sharing this news with his Friends, Supporters and Colleagues and hopes very much for understanding and sends his warmest wishes to all.'
This year's production of Parsifal is directed by Uwe Eric Laufenberg and stars Klaus Florian Vogt as Parsifal, Ryan McKinny as Amfortas and Karl-Heinz Lehner as Titurel. The first performance is scheduled for July 25. The original director was due to be Jonathan Meese, but the opera company decided that his plans for the staging were not financially viable.