Bayreuth Festival (Richard Wagner-Festspiele)
The Bayreuth Festival is the most famous festival in the world. Here only Richard Wagner's music dramas are performed.
The Richard Wagner Festival in Bayreuth was opened in 1876 with three performances of the complete Ring. It took six years before the next Festival could take place. In 1882 only Parsifal was played (16 performances).
In 1951 the Festival reopened after the war. Wieland and Wolfgang Wagner were joint leaders until Wieland's death in 1966. Since then Wolfgang Wagner has been artistic supervisor and leader of the Festival.
Said about the Bayreuth Festival
- Sir Adrian Boult (1912): the theatre was dusty (curtains included), props shoddy, mise-en-scène prehistoric
- Graham Clark on performing in Bayreuth: The audience reaction to performances in Bayreuth is extreme with wild and prolonged applause and cheering and also vociferous booing.
- Eduard Hanslick, 1876: "a major artistic undertaking belongs in a major city"
- Hans Hotter on Bayreuth: It was the main point of interest when one was being interviewed
- René Kollo (1995) on the decaying festival: Bayreuth ist vom Sender, der neue Impulse in die Welt gab, zum Empfänger geworden.
- Waltraud Meier/Edo De Waart: The orchestra is very loud.
- Andrew Shore on Bayreuth
- Penelope Turing on the New Bayreuth style: Any operahouse putting on a new production of one of the operas is judged, acclaimed or condemned, according to its apparent conformity to the Bayreuth conception.
- Patrick Carnegy on the Bayreuth Festival:
"I was bowled over. It was the year after Wieland Wagner had died; to be able to see his productions was a total knock-out. These bare stagings, where everything was done with lighting. The light changed with the music, and the shadows and patterns seemed as archetypal as the music itself. Nobody had done that on the stage before. I thought it was extraordinary and wonderful." (Patrick Carnegy to The Guardian)
- Sebastian Weigle on conducting at the Bayreuth Festival
- Wolfgang Wagner on the Festival House
- Sebastian Baumgarten on Bayreuth
Map: How to find the Festspielhaus (Festival House) in Bayreuth
View Larger Map
Satellite photo of the Bayreuther Festspielhaus
View Larger Map
Richard Wagner and the Bayreuth Festival as salvation
Bayreuth Festival DVDs