S. Wagner: An allem ist Hütchen Schuld! / Coleman, Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra

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This recording of Siegfried Wagner’s An allem ist Hütchen Schuld! is of an acclaimed live performance of the Bayreuth production from the year of the composer’s 125th birthday in August 2019. The production uses a new critical edition of the score created by Ulrich Leykam. It is the first complete audio recording, recorded live at the Margravial Opera House Bayreuth, 9–10 August, 2020. A DVD of the opera recorded live in Bochum in 2015 is available on Marco Polo 2.220006.


Siegfried Wagner (son of Richard) wrote Everything is Little-Hat’s Fault (An Allem ist Hutchen Schuld) during WWI. Although appreciated at the time, this fairytale opera has had sporadic stagings owing to its fanciful, complex plotline and scenic demands. This new release of a 2019 performance at the Margravial Opera House is a major improvement over the 2016 DVD, which includes some of the same performers. The DVD performance suffered from a terrible Eurotrash production where I couldn’t figure out what was going on or why. Even in this non-visual presentation, certain scenes and even placement of dialog shifts the level of meaning.

The problem with Wagner’s own libretto is that the composer can’t seem to decide if this is a light comedy with music like an operetta, or a horrific drama with music like Act 2 of his father’s Walkure. Regardless of the libretto, the music is truly impressive. The style is mostly late-romantic and influenced by his teacher, Humperdinck. Act I will remind you of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. Act II is very much in the Richard Wagner style of monumental orchestration and sweeping, flowing music. Some arias, duets, and ensembles in this act have truly beautiful music often requiring the leads to sing full-out as if they are Siegfried and Brunhilde. Act III is altogether different: some scenes sound like Humperdinck, along with Debussy’s gossamer sounds and Stravinsky’s music from Petrouchka. It’s all very inventive and entertaining.

The recording is excellent. The singing by some of the leads is somewhat shaky in the opening scenes, but then everyone warms up, and all are outstanding for Acts II and III. I wasn’t expecting this level of performance. Conductor Coleman leads everything with the assurance of someone who is intimately involved with the score and knows how each scene should be played. The sound is generally good, though the microphones are at the edge of the stage, so you hear some stage movement and footfalls, particularly in Act I.

The earlier DVD production was so bad that I couldn’t enjoy the music. This new set has completely changed my mind. The composer’s excellent score can now be appreciated. Notes and synopsis are in English and German in Naxos’s usual tiny typeface.

-- American Record Guide (Elliot Fisch)

Product Description:

  • Release Date: August 12, 2022

  • Catalog Number: 8225378-80

  • UPC: 636943537824

  • Label: Marco Polo

  • Number of Discs: 3

  • Period: Late Romantic

  • Composer: Siegfried Wagner

  • Conductor: David Robert Coleman

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Philharmonic Choir Nuremberg, pianopianissimo, Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra

  • Performer: Niklas Mix, Hans-Georg Preise, Rebecca Broberg, Alessandra di Giorgio


  1. An allem ist Hütchen schuld, Op. 11

    Composer: Siegfried Wagner

    Ensemble: Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra, Nuremberg Philharmonic Chorus, PPP Music Theatre Ensemble, Munich

    Performer: Hans-Georg Priese (Tenor), Rebecca Broberg (Soprano), Alessandra di Giorgio (Soprano), Maarja Purga (Mezzo-Soprano), Daniel Arnaldos (Tenor)

    Conductor: David Robert Coleman