Tag Archives: Bayreuth

Parsifal, Bayreuth Festival, July 2012

The present extraordinary Bayreuth production by Stefan Herheim portrays Germany from before the First World War to the aftermath of the Second, with Parsifal representing the true spirit of the country, and Amfortas the one that lost itself in Nazi times. It all starts during the overture, with Parsifal’s mother Herzeleide close to death. Lying …

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Lohengrin, Bayreuth Festival, July 2012

This intriguing production by Hans Neuenfels, now in its third year, concentrates on the people rather than the distant historical setting in which Wagner sets his opera. The stage action starts already during the overture with Lohengrin in an antiseptically white room trying to get out, which he eventually achieves by simply walking backwards through …

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Der fliegende Holländer, Bayreuth Festival, July 2012

The 2012 Wagner festival at Bayreuth started in dramatic fashion when the singer in the title role for a new production of The Flying Dutchman suddenly pulled out. Evgeny Nikitin, covered in body-tattoos from his former career as a heavy-metal singer, found himself the focus of attention, and although claims of a swastika seem unfounded, his …

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Bayreuth Festival Retrospective, 2011

This year the Bayreuth Festival produced five different operas, opening with a new production of Tannhäuser, followed by four revivals: Meistersinger, Lohengrin, Parsifal, and Tristan, in that order.  I went to the first four, which included Katarina Wagner’s grotesque Meistersinger for which spare tickets were selling at half price, and no wonder. With a weak …

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Meistersinger, Bayreuth Festival, July 2011

Tickets for Bayreuth are hard to come by, so you know something’s wrong when people are disposing of Meistersinger at half price outside the theatre.

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Parsifal, Bayreuth Festival, July 2011

The imagery is enormous, but the production concept is simple. It’s the history of Germany from before the First World War until after the Second.

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Lohengrin, Bayreuth Festival, July 2011

The video projections of rats fighting and metaphorically trying to take over the kingdom were clever, and I loved the opening of Act II with a dead horse and overturned carriage.

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Tannhäuser, Bayreuth, July 2011

What fun this was at the end! The production team were booed to the rafters with not a handclap to be heard, and Venus was so roundly booed she didn’t return for her second curtain call.

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Stephen Fry: Wagner and Me, cinema screening, September 2010

“You stand waiting hours for a Valkyrie and then they all come at once”. So quips Stephen Fry in a studio at Bayreuth with four Valkyries in rehearsal. Bayreuth is the small town in Bavaria where Wagner built his own opera house, and in this delightful documentary we learn how he acquired the money for …

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