News Archive

Huge success for the first edition of the Bayreuth Baroque Festival

With a completely sold out Margravial opera house in Bayreuth and almost 360,000 online viewers worldwide, the first edition of Bayreuth Baroque Festival came to an end last Sunday and exceeded all expectations. From September 3rd to 13th, artistic director Max Emanuel Cencic and international stars of the baroque scene such as Joyce DiDonato, Jordi Savall, Julia Lezhneva, Franco Fagioli, Bruno de Sá and many others presented a festival with a wide-variety program in Bayreuth. The rediscovery of Porpora's opera Carlo il Calvo, directed by Max Emanuel Cencic, which can also be seen at next year’s festival, received international acclaim. The German premiere of Vinci's opera Gismondo, re di Polonia caused a sensation. With a world premiere recording, it recently received the German Record Critics' Prize. The next edition of Bayreuth Baroque will take place in the first half of September 2021.

Max Emanuel Cencic and the entire Bayreuth Baroque festival team are proud and grateful that the originally planned program was able to take place in its entirety with only a few minor changes. In this very difficult year for the culture industry, they have set an important example for all.  Minister of Art Bernd Sibler emphasizes: "The start of Bayreuth Baroque was tremendous! I congratulate you all on this successful premiere under these most difficult circumstances. This festival is a valuable enrichment for the cultural life in Bavaria. I am already looking forward to the next season, in which we will again support those involved as much as we can."

Also, the city of Bayreuth has acknowledged the importance of the new international festival, which has successfully established itself despite this year of crisis. Thomas Ebersberger, Lord Mayor of the City of Bayreuth, says: "Bayreuth Baroque' has had a brilliant start! With opera productions and concerts with the highest artistic quality and the rediscovery plus scientific development of the opera Carlo il Calvo, which has not been performed for almost 300 years, the festival has lived up to dream of building a second festival season at international top level in Bayreuth after the Bayreuth Wagner Festival. This is an absolute win for the cultural city of Bayreuth, and as Lord Mayor, I am happy to help and support the further development of the festival."

In addition to the success on side, our streaming and broadcasts received a great response. One performance of Carlo il Calvo was broadcast live in the Cineplex cinemas in Bayreuth and Mannheim. For those who couldn't get a ticket,, BR-Klassik and Facebook offered and are still offering the possibility to experience the festival at home and anywhere in the world. These broadcasts were overwhelmingly well received: In the period from  September 8th till 14th, the Bayreuth Baroque Online Edition reached almost 360,000 people via social media, and the festival videos were viewed up to almost 240,000 times.
Multiple broadcasts e.g. in the BR-Mediathek and at are still planned, more detailed information will be communicated via

Bayreuth Baroque would like to thank the artists who took their commitment despite the risk, the City of Bayreuth, the Bavarian Culture Fund, the Upper Franconian Foundation for their support and for the staff of the Bayreuth-Hermitage Palace Administration, who provided us with advice, support and solutions for the realization of the festival.

CD Gismondo Re di Polonia listed in Deutsche Schallplattenkritik's Bestenliste 03/2020

The Bayreuth Baroque Opera Festival is on!

Dear friends of Baroque music,

We are happy to inform you that Bayreuth Baroque 2020 is taking place!
The Margravial Opera House has been thoroughly renovated for 10 years and now has a powerful air conditioning system that ensures a high level of air exchange with fresh air. Most seats even have their own air vent.
In exchange with the local authorities and renowned sanitization institutes, we are now working on an organized solution that enables us to run all performances and concerts smoothly under all safety protocols.

Soon, we will inform you with more details about the regulations by the authorities.
In the meantime, we’d like to thank you for your patience, and we look forward to seeing you.

Stay healthy!

Best regards,
Your Bayreuth Baroque team

Gismondo is CD of the month!

Our Gismondo recording is disc of the month on!

Click here to read the review!


Gismondo: Max Emanuel Cencic
Ottone: Yuriy Mynenko
Cunegonda: Sophie Junker
Primislao: Aleksandra Kubas -Kruk
Ernesto: Jake Arditti
Giuditta: Dilyara Idrisova
Ermano: Nicholas Tamagna

Orchestra: {oh!} Orkiestra Historyczna
Artistic Direction: Martyna Pastuszka
Maestro al Cembalo: Marcin Swiatkiewicz

This album has been released in collaboration with Adam Mickiewicz Institute as part of the international cultural programme marking the centenary of Poland regaining independence. Financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland as part of the multi-annual programme NIEPODLEGŁA 2017–2022.
In partnership with All’improvviso Festival and City Theatre in Gliwice.

CD Gismondo, Re di Polonia released!

This album has been released in collaboration with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute as part of the international cultural program, marking the centenary of Poland regaining independence, financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland as part of the multi-annual program NIEPODLEGLA 2017-2022, and in partnership with All’improvviso Festival and City Theatre Gliwice.

Available now, including a luxurious booklet, on the new Parnassus web-shop.

Gismondo: Max Emanuel Cencic
Ottone: Yuriy Mynenko
Cunegonda: Sophie Junker
Primislao: Aleksandra Kubas -Kruk
Ernesto: Jake Arditti
Giuditta: Dilyara Idrisova
Ermano: Nicholas Tamagna

Orchestra: {oh!} Orkiestra Historyczna
Artistic Direction: Martyna Pastuszka
Maestro al Cembalo: Marcin Swiatkiewicz


This album has been released in collaboration with Adam Mickiewicz Institute as part of the international cultural programme marking the centenary of Poland regaining independence. Financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland as part of the multi-annual programme NIEPODLEGŁA 2017–2022.
In partnership with All’improvviso Festival and City Theatre in Gliwice.

Max Emanuel Cencic Artistic Director of Bayreuth Baroque

International Opera Festival BAYREUTH BAROQUE at the Margravial Opera House in Bayreuth under the artistic direction of Max Emanuel Cencic, for the first time from 03.09.2020 – 13.09.2020

In 2020, the International Opera Festival BAYREUTH BAROQUE will start at the Margravial Opera House in Bayreuth. This unique city will receive another world-class festival. Appointed artistic director for the next three years is countertenor, director and producer Max Emanuel Cencic. He has convinced the city of Bayreuth with the concept of a brand-new baroque festival at the world cultural heritage opera house. The first edition will take place from 3 September till 13 September 2020. The program and details will be announced on 5 February 2020.

Since the historical renovation of the Margravial Opera House, it was a great desire of the city of Bayreuth to initiate a baroque festival. Opened in 1748 and included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2012, the opera house has become a reviving venue for rarely played operas from the early days. The festival BAYREUTH BAROQUE will be held annually at the Margravial Opera House for eleven days in September. Two opera productions are planned each season, as well as concerts with world-class artists.

Benedikt Stegmayer, culture representative of the city of Bayreuth, says: “From a cultural-political perspective, the BAYREUTH BAROQUE opera festival is an absolute stroke of luck for Bayreuth. It combines a high-quality substantial program, held at a globally unique venue, that was built to present this type of art. World-class art in world-class heritage! The festival does not only serve the architectural context, but it also perfectly suits the Bayreuth cultural event calendar. I am looking forward to this additional highlight in our baroque city!"

Bavarian State Minister for Science and Arts, Bernd Sibler adds: “The city of Bayreuth has a high cultural appeal with the UNESCO World Heritage Margravial Opera House. I welcome the birth of the International Opera Festival BAYREUTH BAROQUE under the artistic direction of Max Emanuel Cencic. I wish the new festival good luck and prosperity in its first season! It will certainly be an asset to the cultural life in Bayreuth."

Artistic director Max Emanuel Cencic says: “As appointed director of BAYREUTH BAROQUE, I am deeply honoured to lead the festival and set the program. I am most grateful for the trust given by the city council and the city of Bayreuth who I would like to thank sincerely. The Margravial Opera House has a unique place in the history of music. We owe Richard Wagner a dept of gratitude for recognizing the value of this opera house and for his commitment preserving the house for future generations. Presenting operas in this historic house, that have never or hardly have been played in the past 300 years, is a dream come true for me. There are no limits to our imagination and with this in mind - I am truly privileged to set new accents with this festival in Bayreuth’s music culture.”

Max Emanuel Cencic's musical journey in January will take him to...

Max Emanuel Cencic's musical journey in January 2020 will take him to Verona (Jan. 9th), Brussels (Jan. 15th), Essen (Jan. 19th), Wroclaw (Jan. 24th), Madrid (Jan. 26th) and Vienna (Jan. 29th).

Where will he see you?

Happy New Year!

Great success and standing ovations for Orlano Furioso

On December 8th, 2019, Vivaldi's Orlando Furioso was performed in concert version at Moscow's Philharmony at the Tchaikovsky Hall. The production gathered on stage grand artists like Max Emanuel Cencic, Julia Lezhneva, Ruxandra Donose and George Petrou. It had been sold out weeks in advance, and was awarded with standing ovations by the audience.

The cast consisted of:

Orlando: Max Emanuel Cencic
Alcina: Ruxandra Donose
Bradamante:  Sonja Runje
Ruggerio: Nicholas Tamagna
Angelica: Julia Lezhneva
Medoro: Philipp Mathmann
Astolfo: Jose Coco-Loza

Conductor: George Petrou
Orchestra: Armonia Atenea

Max Emanuel Cencic at the Vienna State Opera

After nine years Max Emanuel Cencic returns to the Vienna State Opera in November 2019! He will perform the villain Polinesso in Handel’s Ariodante, conducted by Christophe Rousset and directed by David McVicar. Ariodante performances are on November 8, 11, 13 and 15, 2019.

Max continues with the title role of the concert performance Gismondo (Vinci) in Warsaw on November 20 and Orlando Furioso (Vivaldi) in Moscow on December 8.  In Handel’s Orlando, Max will sing the title role in Verona on 9 January, in Essen on 19 January, in Madrid on 26 January and in Trondheim on 4 February 2020. Max Emanuel Cencic presents the rarely played opera Irene (Hasse), performing the role of Nicefero with the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra in Helsinki on 31 December 2019 and in Theater an der Wien, Vienna on 29 January 2020. Other various concerts with Max are on 12 December 2019 in Moscow, 15 January 2020 in Brussels and on 24 January 2020 in Wroclaw.

Meanwhile, Max Emanuel Cencic is an internationally renowned director too. He not only directs the productions, but sings most supporting roles as well. In February 2020, the revival of his production Serse (Handel) is performed again at the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe where Max sings the role of Arsamene. Max’s production of La Donna del Lago (Rossini) with Max as Malcolm can be seen in May 2020 in Zagreb. Two new exciting productions are planned from mid-2020 onwards: Radamisto (Handel) with Max in the title role and Carlo il Calvo (Porpora) as evil uncle Lottario.

Toi toi toi, dear Max !

An exciting season lies ahead of Austrian-Croatian countertenor Max Emanuel Cencic

Max started the new season with a studio recording of Gismondo re di Polonia, in which he sang the title role. The CD by the same name with Max in the role of Gismondo will be released in November 2019. Concert performances of Gismondo re di Polonia are scheduled in Warsaw (November 2019) and Dortmund (May 2020).
Max will start the concert season 2019/20 with Handel's Arminio at the Enescu Festival in Bucarest on September 14st, 2019. He will, again, sing the title role.

After an absence lasting for 9 years, Max will return to the Wiener Staatsoper to sing the role of Polinesso in Handel's Ariodante conducted by Christophe Rousset and staged by David Mc Vicar. Four Performances are scheduled in November 2019.

More Handel repertoire to come: in January 2020, Max will sing the title role in Orlando in a concert tour with Il Pomo d'Oro, with concerts scheduled in Verona, Essen and Madrid. Max's outstanding staged production of Serse will be presented again at the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe in February 2020. In it, he is going to sing the role of Arsamene.
In October 2020, Max will debut at La Scala di Milano in a new production of Handels Semele, in which he will mime Athamas.

Max's fantastic staged production of La Donna del Lago will be presented again at the HNK Zagreb in May 2020, and at the opera festival Saaremaa in July 2020. He is going to sing the role of Malcolm in this production.
Vienna's Theater an der Wien will present Max in two productions in concert version: as Malcolm in La Donna del Lago in March 2020, and as Nicefero in a new production of Hasse's opera Irene in January 2020.
Irene, with Max as Nicefero, will also be performed in Helsinki on December 31st, 2019.

Besides Handel's Orlando, Max will also sing the title role in Vivaldi's Orlando Furioso in Moscow in December 2019 and Paris in April 2020. He will return to Paris' Philharmonie to sing Carmina Burana in June 2020.

Max Emanuel Cencic's concert schedule offers concerts in Moscow (December 2019), Brussels and Wroclaw (both in January 2020).

Huge success and standing ovations for Polifemo at Salzburger Festspiele

On June 8th, 2019, Max Emanuel Cencic's semi-staged production of Porpora's Polifemo was performed as part of Salzburger Festspiele at the Felsenreitschule in Salzburg. Grandious artists found together to ensure it's success, among them Julia Lezhneva, Yuriy Mynenko, George Petrou and Max Emanuel Cencic.
Thus, standing ovations ensued...

The cast of Polifemo in Salzburg reads as follows:

Aci: Yuriy Mynenko
Ulisse: Max Emanuel Cencic
Polifemo: Pavel Kudinov
Galatea: Julia Lezhneva
Nerea: Dilyara Idrisova
Calipso: Sonja Runje
conductor: George Petrou 
direction, concept: Max Emanuel Cencic
stage design: Margit Ann Berger
costumes: Giorgina Germanou
light: Paul Fresacher
video: Sarah Scherer
assistant to the director: Constantina Psoma
orchestra: Armonia Atenea
choir, choir master: Bachchor Salzburg, Alois Glaßner
Stage, costumes and masks were produced in the Salzburger Festspiele's own workshop.

Polifemo is a new production by Parnassus Arts Productions.
Performing rights: Parnassus Arts Productions Edition
Editor: Christos Christodoulou

La Donna del Lago, directed by Max Emanuel Cencic, in Zagreb and Wiesbaden

From April 12th to 25th, 2019, the National Theater Zagreb will show Max Emanuel Cencic's highly acclaimed, romantic and opulent staging of Rossini's La Donna del Lago. For the first time on stage, the role of Malcolm is sung by a man, namely Max Emanuel Cencic.
La Donna del Lago is a co-production of the Opera de Lausanne (where, a year ago, the premiere took place) and the National Theater Zagreb (performances on 12th, 16th, 18th, 20th, 23rd, and 25th April 2019) and will be shown on May 24th, 2019, as part of a guest appearance at Maifestspiele at the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden.
All performances are conducted by George Petrou, with Max Emanuel Cencic as Malcolm. See an excerpt of one of his arias here.
In Zagreb, young and promising talents from the Parnassus agency will have their debut - Nian Wang as Elena, György Hanczar as Uberto / Giacomo, Antonio Gares as Rodrigo and Sonja Runje as Albina.
In Wiesbaden, the part of Umberto / Giacomo will be sung by one of the best tenors of our times, Daniel Behle. The role of Elena will be interpreted by the great Lena Belkina. See the La Donna del Lago in full version and staged by Max Emanuel Cencic here.   (Password required. Please request it here.)
The complete cast of La Donna del Lago in Zagreb and Wiesbaden reads as follows:
Conductor - George PETROU
Director - Max Emanuel CENCIC
Stage design and costumes - Bruno de LAVENERE
Light - David DEBRINAY
Video - Étienne GUIOL
Assistant to the conductor- Josip EGO
Assistant to the director - Constantina PSOMA
Choirmaster - Luka VUKšIć
ELENA - Nian WANG (Zagreb) / Lena BELKINA (Wiesbaden)
GIACOMO V (Uberto) - György HANCZAR (Zagreb) / Daniel BEHLE (Wiesbaden)
DUGLAS D'ANGUS - Dalibor Hanzalek / Neven Paleček (studijska uloga)
ALBINA - Iva Krušić / Sonja Runje
SERANO - Ivo Gamulin / Božimir Lovrić
BERTRAM - Nikša Radovanović
La Donna del Lago is a production of the Opera de Lausanne coproduced by the Croatian National Theatre.
In March 2020, Parnassus will start a tour with La Donna del Lago in concert version. The premiere will be on March 22nd, 2020, at Theater an der Wien, performed by a Baroque orchestra.

Overwhelming reviews of Serse, directed by Max Emanuel Cencic in Karlsruhe

From 15 to 26 February 2019, Handel's opera Serse, directed by Max Emanuel Cencic, was shown at Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe.
The reviews of Cencic's directing, the musical performance and the singers just came in, and they are excellent.

The cast consisted of:

Musical direction: George Petrou, stage direction: Max Emanuel Cencic, stage design: Rifail Ajdarpasic, costumes: Sarah Rolke: choreography: Dave Laera,  assistant costume designer: Wicke Naujoks, lighting: Stefan Woinke, choir: Marius Zachmann, dramaturgy: Boris Kehrmann,
Franco Fagioli (Serse)
Max Emanuel Cencic (Arsamene)
Lauren Snouffer (Romilda)
Katherine Manley (Atalanta)
Ariana Lucas (Amastris)
Pavel Kudinov (Ariodate)
Yang Xu (Elviro)

M. E. Cencic's solo-CD Porpora Opera Arias nominated as best solo-recording

Opera awards has nominated Max Emanuel Cencic's most recent solo CD Porpora Opera Arias as best solo recital recording. We thank for the nomination and hope for the best at the final voting on April 29, 2019.

Xerxes, directed by M. E. Cencic, premieres on 15 February in Karlsruhe

In a new production, G. F. Handel's opera Xerxes will be presented to the audience at Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe by Max Emanuel Cencic, who functions as director and performs the role of Arsamene.
February 15th, 2019, will see the premiere. Performances will continue until February 26th, and are scheduled to be resumed in February 2020. (Dates to be released soon)

Happy New Year!