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But Barenboim had too many commitments outside of Italy to accept, and Lissner said he had to wage battle to get Barenboim to conduct the gala opening of Wagner’s “Tristan and Isolde” in 2008, another success.

“Maybe I am not very good. It took five years to convince Daniel Barenboim to become musical director, until the day he said yes instead of no,” Lissner said. “Why? Because I think he truly discovered this theater, which grabs you, if you are a human being with an open heart and sensitivity.”