The Wagners of Bayreuth are Germany's longest running soap opera. Even if Richard Wagner hadn't written some of the most politically controversial, sexually explicit and gloriously long operas in the world, the behaviour of his family would still be headline news in Heute and Der Spiegel.
Wagner himself designed the world-famous Festspielhaus (festival house) up on a wooded hillside outside the small Baroque city of Bayreuth. It's a revolutionary building on the inside with a foyer in Pompeian red, a Greek stage and hidden orchestra. The Festspielhaus is a brilliant, surprising building but brilliance and scandal are the trademarks of the Wagner clan, whatever they do. This year's 200th anniversary festival, commissioned by Wagner's great granddaughter, Katharina, is guaranteed to create controversy. Last year, Evgeny Nikitin, the baritone who Katharina employed to sing in The Flying Dutchman, had to resign when it was revealed he had a swastika tattooed on his chest. This year, director Frank Castorf has ruffled feathers by declaring that his Ring Cycle will open in the defeated Germany of 1945 and that the gold over which Wagner's characters fight will be oil wells.
Classical Music | Classical Music Video | Orchestra | Classical Musician | Concert Hall | Violin | Cello | Piano | Symphony | Viola | Concerto | Philharmonic | Opera Singers | Music Lesson | Choir | Concert Band | Music Teacher Directory