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Encyclopedia > Bayreuth Festival
Bayreuth Festspielhaus, as seen in 1882
Bayreuth Festspielhaus, as seen in 1882

The annual Bayreuth Festival in Bayreuth, Germany is devoted principally (but not exclusively) to performances of operas by the 19th century German composer Richard Wagner. Wagner himself conceived of and promoted the idea of a special festival to showcase his own works, in particular his monumental cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen and Parsifal. ImageMetadata File history File links Bayreuthfest. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Bayreuthfest. ... Bayreuth is a town in northern Bavaria, Germany, on the Red Main river in a valley between the Frankish Alb and the Fichtelgebirge. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Richard Wagner Wilhelm Richard Wagner (May 22, 1813 in Leipzig – February 13, 1883 in Venice) was an influential German composer, conductor, music theorist, and essayist, primarily known for his groundbreaking symphonic-operas (or music dramas). His compositions are notable for their continuous contrapuntal texture, rich harmonies and orchestration, and elaborate... Valkyrie Warrior Maiden by artist Arthur Rackham (1912) Der Ring des Nibelungen translated commonly into English as The Ring of the Nibelung or The Nibelungs Ring, is a series of four epic operas. ... Amalie Maternam Emil Scaria and Hermann Winkelmann in the 1882 premiere production of Parsifal Parsifal is an opera in three acts by Richard Wagner. ...

Performances take place in a specially designed theatre, the Festspielhaus. Wagner personally supervised the design and construction of the theatre, which contained many architectural innovations to accommodate the huge orchestras for which Wagner wrote as well as the composer's particular vision about the staging of his works. (For more information on the design and construction of the opera house, see the article Bayreuth Festspielhaus.) The Bayreuth Festspielhaus (Bayreuth Festival Theatre) is an opera house built to the north of the town of Bayreuth in Germany, dedicated to the performance of Richard Wagners operas. ... The Bayreuth Festspielhaus (Bayreuth Festival Theatre) is an opera house built to the north of the town of Bayreuth in Germany, dedicated to the performance of Richard Wagners operas. ...

The Festival has become a pilgrimage destination for Wagner enthusiasts, who often must wait years to obtain tickets.


Origins of the Festival

The origins of the Festival itself lie rooted in Richard Wagner's interest in establishing his financial independence. A souring of the relationship with his patron, Ludwig II of Bavaria, led to his expulsion from Munich, where he had originally intended to launch the festival. Wagner next considered Nuremberg, which would have reinforced the thematic significance of works such Die Meistersinger. On the advice of Hans Richter, however, the focus fell upon Bayreuth which enjoyed three distinct advantages. Ludwig II of Bavaria Ludwig (Louis) II, King of Bavaria, Ludwig Friedrich Wilhelm; sometimes known in English as Mad King Ludwig (August 25, 1845 - June 13, 1886) was king of Bavaria from 1864 until his death. ... For the 2005 Steven Spielberg film, see Munich (film). ... Hl. ... Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (The Master Singers of Nuremberg) is an opera in three acts, written and composed by Richard Wagner. ... Hans Richter was a Dadaist artist, filmmaker and writer. ... Bayreuth is a town in northern Bavaria, Germany, on the Red Main river in a valley between the Frankish Alb and the Fichtelgebirge. ...

First, the town boasted a splendid venue: the Opera House built for Margrave Frederick and his wife, Friederike Sophie Wilhelmine (sister of Frederick the Great) in 1747. With its ample capacity and strong acoustics, the Opera House was a good match for Wagner's vision. Second, the town of Bayreuth found itself outside of regions where Wagner no longer owned the rights to the performance of his own works, which he had sold off in 1864 in order to alleviate pressing financial concerns. Finally, the town had no cultural life that could offer competition to Wagner's own artistic dominance. The Festival, once launched, would be the dominant feature of Bayreuth's cultural landscape. The Principality of Bayreuth (in German, Fürstentum Bayreuth) was established at the death of Burgrave Friedrich V of Nürnberg on 21 January 1398, when his lands were partitioned between his two sons. ... Friederike Sophie Wilhelmine, Princess of Prussia (Berlin, July 3, 1709 - Bayreuth, October 14, 1758), was a daughter of Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia. ... Frederick the Great Frederick II of Prussia (Friedrich der Große, Frederick the Great, January 24, 1712 – August 17, 1786) was the Hohenzollern king of Prussia 1740–86. ... // Events January 31 - The first venereal diseases clinic opens at London Dock Hospital April 9 - The Scottish Jacobite Lord Lovat was beheaded by axe on Tower Hill, London, for high treason; he was the last man to be executed in this way in Britain May 14 - First battle of Cape... 1864 was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ...

In April of 1870, Wagner and his wife Cosima visited Bayreuth. On inspection, the Opera House proved to be inadequate. It was built to accommodate the baroque orchestras of the 18th century and it was technically impossible to mount the complex stagings and fit the large orchestras that Wagner's operas required. Nonetheless, the Burgermeisters proved open to assisting Wagner with the construction of an entirely new theatre and the Festival was planned to launch in 1873. After a fruitless meeting in the spring of 1871 with the German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck to obtain funds, Wagner embarked on a fundraising tour across Germany, including Leipzig and Frankfurt. Bust of Cosima Wagner in Bayreuth Festspielpark Cosima Wagner in London (1877) Cosima Wagner (December 25, 1837 - April 1, 1930) was the daughter of the virtuoso pianist and composer, Franz Liszt. ... Adoration, by Peter Paul Rubens: dynamic figures spiral down around a void: draperies blow: a whirl of movement lit in a shaft of light, rendered in a free bravura handling of paint In arts, the Baroque (or baroque) is both a period and the style that dominated it. ... 1873 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calaber). ... Count Otto von Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg (April 1, 1815 – July 30, 1898) was one of the most prominent European aristocrats and statesmen of the nineteenth century. ... Leipzig ▶(?) [] (Sorbian/Lusatian: Lipsk) is the largest city in the federal state (Bundesland) of Saxony in Germany. ... (?) [ˈfraŋkfʊrt] is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany. ...

An initial public subscription proved disappointing, however. As part of the effort to secure further financing for the Festival and the building of a new theatre, Wagner, on the suggestion of his friend and admirer Emil Heckel, launched a number of Wagner Societies to increase participation in the Festival's subscription. Societies were established, among other places, in Leipzig, Berlin and Vienna. Wagner Societies are loosely-affiliated groups that bring together enthusiasts of the 19th Century German composer Richard Wagner. ... This article is about the city in Germany. ... Vienna (German: Wien [viːn]; Hungarian: Bécs, Czech: Vídeň, Slovak: Viedeň, Romany Vidnya; Serbian: Beč) is the capital of Austria, and also one of Austrias nine states (Land Wien). ...

Despite making direct appeals based on Wagner's role as a composer of the new German Reich, the Societies and other fundraising channels were well-short of the required investment by the end of 1872. As a result Wagner made another direct appeal to Bismarck in August 1873, again to be denied. 1872 was a leap year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ...

Desperate, Wagner turned to his former patron, Ludwig II who, despite his misgivings, agreed to lend financial support. In January 1874, Ludwig granted 100,000 Thaler and construction on the theatre, designed by architect Gottfried Semper, started shortly thereafter. A planned 1875 debut was postponed for a year due to construction and other delays. 1874 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Gottfried Semper Gottfried Semper (1803-1879) was a German architect, art critic, and professor of architecture, who designed and built the Semper Oper in Dresden between 1838 and 1841. ... 1875 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ...

Early History of the Festival

Felix Mottl conducted Tristan und Isolde at Bayreuth in 1886
Felix Mottl conducted Tristan und Isolde at Bayreuth in 1886

Since its opening in 1876, the Bayreuth Festival has been a socio-cultural phenomenon. Present at this unique musical event was an illustrious list of guests: Kaiser Wilhelm, Dom Pedro II of Brazil, King Ludwig (who attended in secret, probably to avoid the Kaiser), and other members of the nobility; and such accomplished composers as Anton Bruckner, Edvard Grieg, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, and Franz Liszt. Image File history File links Felixmottl3. ... Image File history File links Felixmottl3. ... 1876 is a leap year starting on Saturday. ... Wilhelm II of Germany (born Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albert von Preußen 27 January 1859–4 June 1941), was the last German Emperor (Kaiser) and the last King (König) of Prussia, ruling from 15 June 1888 to 9 November 1918. ... Dom Pedro IIs family Dom Pedro II and President Ulysses S. Grant, Philadelphia Exposition, 1876 Dom Pedro II in his old age Dom Pedro II of Brazil Dom Pedro II, Emperor of Brazil (December 2, 1825 – December 5, 1891) was the second and final Brazilian Emperor. ... Anton Bruckner Anton Bruckner (4 September 1824–11 October 1896) was an Austrian composer of the Romantic era. ... Edvard Hagerup Grieg (June 15, 1843–September 4, 1907) was a Norwegian composer and pianist. ... Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky ▶ (Russian: Пётр Ильич Чайковский, sometimes transliterated as Piotr, Anglicised as Peter Ilich), (May 7, 1840 – November 6, 1893 (N.S.); April 25, 1840 – October 25, 1893 (O.S.)) was a Russian composer of the Romantic era. ... Franz Liszt (Hungarian: Liszt Ferenc) (October 22, 1811 – July 31, 1886) was a Hungarian virtuoso pianist and composer. ...

Artistically, the festival was an outstanding success. ("Something has taken place at Bayreuth which our grandchildren and their children will still remember," wrote Tchaikovsky, attending the Festival as a Russian correspondent.)

Financially, however, the festival was a disaster and did not begin to make money until several years later. Wagner abandoned his original plan to hold a second festival the following year, and travelled to London to conduct a series of concerts in an attempt to make up the deficit. Part of the London skyline viewed from the South Bank London is the most populous city in the European Union, with an estimated population on 1 January 2005 of 7,500,000 and a metropolitan area population of between 12 and 14 million. ...

Although the festival was plagued by financial problems in its early years, it survived through state intervention and the continued support of influential Wagnerians, including King Ludwig II of Bavaria and Adolf Hitler. Ludwig II of Bavaria Ludwig (Louis) II, King of Bavaria, Ludwig Friedrich Wilhelm; sometimes known in English as Mad King Ludwig (August 25, 1845 - June 13, 1886) was king of Bavaria from 1864 until his death. ... The Free State of Bavaria  (German: Freistaat Bayern), with an area of 70,553 km² (27,241 square miles) and 12. ... â–¶(?) (April 20, 1889 – April 30, 1945) was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 and Führer und Reichskanzler (Leader and Chancellor) of Germany from 1934 to his death by suicide. ...

From its inception, the festival has attracted the world’s most talented conductors and singers, many of whom performed without pay. Among these was Hans Richter, who conducted the premiere of the Ring Cycle in 1876 with the assistance of young Engelbert Humperdinck. Another was the talented conductor Hermann Levi, who was personally chosen by Richard Wagner to conduct the debut of Parsifal in 1882. Levi, who was the son of a Jewish rabbi, became the festival’s principal conductor for the next two decades. Felix Mottl, who was involved with the festival from 1876 to 1901, conducted Tristan und Isolde there in 1886. For the pop singer of this name, see Engelbert Humperdinck (singer) Engelbert Humperdinck (September 1, 1854 – September 27, 1921) was a German composer, best known for his opera, Hänsel und Gretel (1893). ... Hermann Levi (born November 7, 1839 in Giessen; died May 13, 1900 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen) was a German orchestral conductor. ... Rabbi (Classical Hebrew רִבִּי ribbÄ«;; modern Ashkenazi and Israeli רַבִּי rabbÄ«) in Judaism, means teacher, or more literally great one. The word Rabbi is derived from the Hebrew root-word RaV, which in biblical Hebrew means great or distinguished, (in knowledge). In the ancient Judean schools the sages were addressed as רִבִּי (Ribbi... Felix Mottl (1856-1911) was an Austrian conductor and composer. ... Tristan und Isolde is an opera in three acts by Richard Wagner. ...

Up until the 1920s, Bayreuth performances were carried out in strictest accordance with the traditions established under King Ludwig's patronage. Not a note was "cut" from any of the enormous scores; no concessions were made to the limits of human patience on the part of the audiences. Richard Wagner used to insist on live beasts on the stage for his various animal parts, and Cosima Wagner continued to insist the same. Consequently Bayreuth pilgrims saw Fricka's flock of real goats, Wotan's ravens, and Siegfried's bear and toad. The Rhine maidens were swung, as Wagner directed, by wires attached to the stage-ceiling through the blue-green gauze "waters" of the river. The huge choruses, particularly, showed the results of thorough Teutonic drill. Bust of Cosima Wagner in Bayreuth Festspielpark Cosima Wagner in London (1877) Cosima Wagner (December 25, 1837 - April 1, 1930) was the daughter of the virtuoso pianist and composer, Franz Liszt. ... Species See Species and subspecies A goat is a mammal in the genus Capra, which consists of nine species: the Ibex, the West Caucasian Tur, the East Caucasian Tur, the Markhor, and the Wild Goat. ... For other meanings of Odin and Wotan see Odin (disambiguation) Odin (Old Norse Óðinn, Swedish Oden) is usually considered the supreme god of Germanic and Norse mythology. ... Species See text Many large black birds of the genus Corvus are called ravens. ... Genera Ailuropoda Ursus Tremarctos Arctodus (extinct) A bear is a large mammal of the order Carnivora, family Ursidae. ... Genera Ansonia Atelopus Bufo Capensibufo Crepidophryne Dendrophryniscus Didynamipus Frostius Laurentophryne Leptophryne Melanophryniscus Mertensophryne Nectophryne Nectophrynoides Nimbaphrynoides Oreophrynella Osornophryne Pedostibes Pelophryne Peltophryne Pseudobufo Rhamphophryne Werneria Wolterstorffina The true toads are amphibians in the Bufonidae family. ... At 1,320 kilometres (820 miles) and an average discharge of more than 2,000 cubic meters per second, the Rhine (German Rhein, French Rhin, Dutch Rijn, Romansch: Rein, Italian: Reno) is one of the longest and most important rivers in Europe. ...

Bayreuth and the Third Reich

In the 1920s, well before the rise of the Nazi party, Winifred Wagner (who headed the festival after the death of her husband Siegfried in 1930) became a strong supporter and close personal friend of Adolf Hitler. Because of this support, Bayreuth was able to maintain its artistic independence under the Third Reich, when other opera houses were turned into propoganda tools. Ironically, Hitler attended performances that included Jewish and foreign singers, long after they had been banned from all other venues across Germany. Winifred's influence with Hitler was so strong that Hitler even wrote a letter (at her behest) to the anti-fascist Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini, begging him to lead the festival. Toscanini refused. From 1933 to 1942, the festival was conducted principally by Karl Elmendorff. Arturo Toscanini Arturo Toscanini (March 25, 1867 – January 16, 1957) was considered by many of his contemporaries — critics, fellow musicians, and the public alike — as the greatest conductor of his era. ... Conductor Karl Elmendorff Karl Elmendorff (October 25, 1891 in Düsseldorf - October 21, 1962) was a German conductor. ...

It was under the Third Reich that the festival made its first break from tradition, abandoning the deteriorating 19th century sets created by Richard Wagner. Many protested the changes, including prominent conductors such as Toscanini and Richard Strauss, and even some members of the Wagner family. In their view, any change to the festival was a profanation against "the Master" (Wagner). Nevertheless, Hitler approved of the changes, thus paving the way for more innovations in the decades to come. Richard Strauss (June 11, 1864 – September 8, 1949) was a German composer of the late Romantic era, particularly noted for his tone poems and operas. ...

During the war, the festival was turned over to the Nazi party, which continued to sponsor operas for wounded soldiers returning from the front. These soldiers were forced to attend lectures on Wagner before the performances, and most found the festival to be tedious. However, as "guests of the führer," none complained. Still, it was painfully clear that they would have preferred to have spent the time with their families. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Nazism. ...

Two thirds of the town of Bayreuth was destroyed by allied bombing in the final days of World War II, though the theatre itself was undamaged.

The New Bayreuth

Following the war, Winifred Wagner was sentenced to probation by a war court for her support of the Nazi party. The court also banned her from administration of the Bayreuth Festival and its assets, which fell to her two sons, Wolfgang and Wieland. The festival reopened in 1951 after a period of use as a theatre for American soldiers. Winifred Wagner, born Winifred Williams (June 23, 1897 - March 5, 1980) was born in Hastings, England. ... Wolfgang Wagner (b. ... Wieland Wagner, (born 1917, died 1966). ... 1951 (MCMLI) was a common year starting on Monday; see its calendar. ...

Under the direction of Wieland Wagner, the "New Bayreuth" ushered in an era that was no less than revolutionary. Gone were the elaborate naturalistic sets, replaced with minimalist post-modern productions. In comparison, the pre-war changes seemed tame. For the first time in its history, the Bayreuth audience booed at the end of productions. Wieland was particularly derided for his 1956 production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. Stripped of its pagentry, conservatives viewed the breaking of this "sacred German tradition" as an outrage. Postmodernism (sometimes abbreviated pomo) is a term applied to a wide-ranging set of developments in critical theory, philosophy, architecture, art, literature, and culture, which are generally characterized as either emerging from, in reaction to, or superseding, modernism. ... Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (The Master Singers of Nuremberg) is an opera in three acts, written and composed by Richard Wagner. ...

Wieland defended the changes as an attempt to create an "invisible stage" that would allow the audience to experience the full psychosocial aspects of the drama without the baggage and distraction of elaborate set designs. Others have speculated that by stripping Wagner's works of their Germanic and historic elements, Wieland was attempting to distance Bayreuth from its nationalistic past and create productions with universal appeal. Over time, many critics came to appreciate the unique beauty of Wieland's reinterpretation of his grandfather's works.

Wieland’s innovative productions invited comparison to Wolfgang’s, which critics unanimously found to be uninspired. If Wieland’s productions were radical, Wolfgang’s were regressive. Although still minimalist in approach, Wolfgang resurrected much of the naturalistic and romantic elements of pre-war productions. Thus, when Wieland died prematurely from lung cancer in 1966, many wondered if Bayreuth had a future. They began to question Bayreuth’s primacy among German opera houses, and some suggested that more interesting productions were being staged elsewhere. The incidence of lung cancer is highly correlated with smoking. ... 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link goes to calendar) // Events January January 1 - In a coup, Colonel Jean-Bédel Bokassa ousts president David Dacko and takes over the Central African Republic. ...

In 1973, faced with overwhelming criticism and family infighting, the Bayreuth Festival and its assets were transferred to a newly created Richard Wagner Foundation. The board of directors included members of the Wagner family and others appointed by the state. As chairman, Wolfgang Wagner remained in charge of administration of the festival, his skill for which had never been in question. 1973 (MCMLXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday. ...

The Wagner Werkstatt

Image from the 1984 Bayreuth production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wolfgang Wagner, who directed the production, appears in the upper left corner)
Image from the 1984 Bayreuth production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wolfgang Wagner, who directed the production, appears in the upper left corner)

While Wolfgang Wagner continued to administer the festival, beginning in the 1970s, production was handled by a number of new directors in what Wolfgang called Werkstatt Bayreuth (Bayreuth Workshop). The idea was to turn the festival into an opportunity for directors to experiment with new methods for presenting the operas. The change came out of necessity, as it was impossible for Wolfgang to both administer and direct the festival. It also provided an opportunity for Bayreuth to renew itself with each production, rather than continue to present the same operas in the same way, year after year. Ingmar Bergman, who famously produced a Swedish version of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, turned down an invitation to direct the festival. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (869x713, 111 KB) Summary Bernd Weikl appears in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at the Bayreuth Festival (1984). ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (869x713, 111 KB) Summary Bernd Weikl appears in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at the Bayreuth Festival (1984). ... Ingmar Bergman Ingmar Bergman â–¶(?) (pronounced in Swedish, but usually in English, IPA in Unicode notation) (born July 14, 1918) is a Swedish stage and film director who is one of the key film auteurs of the second half of the twentieth century. ... Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) is an opera in two acts composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to a German libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder. ...

The most sensational production in Werkstatt Bayreuth was the Centennial Ring Cycle under the direction of French director Patrice Chereau. Chereau used an updated 19th century setting that followed the interpretation of George Bernard Shaw who saw the Ring as a social commentary on the exploitation of the working class by wealthy 19th century capitalists. The audience reaction was split between those who saw the production as an offence and those who considered it the best Ring Cycle ever produced. The ensuing conflict between supporters and detractors was unprecedented in the history of the festival. The acting, however, was without dispute some of the best seen in the world of opera. Patrice Chéreau (born 1944) is a French director and film maker. ... George Bernard Shaw (July 26, 1856 – November 2, 1950) was an Irish playwright and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1925. ... In economics, a capitalist is someone who owns capital, presumably within the economic system of capitalism. ...

Other notable directors to have participated in Werkstatt Bayreuth included Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, Sir Peter Hall of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Goetz Friedrich and Harry Kupfer, both from Berlin State Opera in the former communist East Germany. Jean-Pierre Ponnelle (1932-1988), a highly acclaimed opera director, was born in Paris on February 19, 1932. ... Sir Peter Reginald Frederick Hall (born 22 November 1930) is a British theatre and film director. ... The Royal Shakespeare Company is a British theatre company, one of the most influential in the country. ... German director known for his avant-garde productions of Wagner, which often got him into trouble under the former communist regime of East Germany. ... Staatsoper Unter den Linden, 2003 Berlin State Opera (in German: Staatsoper Unter den Linden) is a prominent German opera company. ... Communism - Wikipedia /**/ @import /w/skins-1. ...

In the end, Wolfgang’s decision to bring in experimental directors helped rejuvenate Bayreuth and restore its reputation as the world leader in Wagnerian opera.

Bayreuth in the 21st Century

The festival continues to be administered by Wolfgang Wagner, who refuses to step down, even though the festival's 21 member board of directors voted in 2001 for his daughter, Eva Wagner-Pasquier, to succeed him. Wagner plans to eventually hand control over to his second wife, Gudrun, and their daughter Katharina.

Despite the behind-the-scenes feud for control, the festival draws thousands of Wagner fans to Bayreuth every summer. It is very difficult to get tickets, because demand (estimated at 500,000) greatly exceeds supply (58,000 tickets); the waiting time is between five and ten years. Although tickets are allocated by lottery, preference is given to members of the Society of Friends of Bayreuth (financial donors), famous patrons, and Wagner enthusiasts. A lottery is a popular form of gambling which involves the drawing of lots for a prize. ...

A new production of the Ring is presented every five to seven years, following a year in which no Ring is presented. In years in which there is a Ring, three other operas are presented. When no Ring is presented, five other operas are presented. The next production of the Ring will premiere in 2006.



Patrice Chéreau (born 1944) is a French director and film maker. ... Pierre Boulez (IPA: /pjɛʁ.buˈlɛz/) (born March 26, 1925) is a conductor and composer of classical music. ... German director known for his avant-garde productions of Wagner, which often got him into trouble under the former communist regime of East Germany. ... Deutsche Grammophon is a German record company. ... The WB Shield used from 2003 to present day Warner Bros. ...


  • Tristan und Isolde (1983) Conductor: Daniel Barenboim, Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele, Staged and Directed by: Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, Soloists: René Kollo, Johanna Meier, Matti Salminen, Hermann Becht, Hanna Schwarz, Unitel, Laserdisc Philips 070-509-1

See Conductor for other possible uses of the word. ... Daniel Barenboim Daniel Barenboim (born November 15, 1942) is an Argentinean-Israeli pianist and conductor. ... Pioneers LaserDisc Logo The laserdisc (LD) was the first commercial optical disc storage medium, and was used primarily for the presentation of movies. ...


  • Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1984) Conductor: Horst Stein, Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele, Staged by: Wolfgang Wagner Video Director: Brian Large, Soloists: Bernd Weikl, Siegfried Jerusalem, Hermann Prey, Mari Anne Häggander, Graham Clark, Unitel


Historical productions

  • 100 Jahre Bayreuth auf Schallplatte: The Early Festival Singers, 1887-1906, Gebhardt Records
This 12 CD set put together all of the surviving recordings done by the Gramophone and Typewriter Company in 1904 at Bayreuth and includes some of the original artists from the 1876 debut. Listen
  • First Bayreuth Recordings Vol. 1: Tristan und Isolde (1928) Conductor: Karl Elmendorff, Soloists: Anny Helm, Gustav Rodin, Label: Grammofono 2000
  • Götterdämmerung - Live 1942 (1942) Conductor: Karl Elmendorff Soloists: Camilla Kallab, Egmont Koch, Label: Music & Arts Program
Original radio broadcast from Deutsches Rundfunk. This is what German soldiers would have heard as "Guests of the Führer."

This Smith Premier typewriter, purchased around the end of the 19th century, was found abandoned in the Bodie ghost town. ... 1904 is a leap year starting on a Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... Conductor Karl Elmendorff Karl Elmendorff (October 25, 1891 in Düsseldorf - October 21, 1962) was a German conductor. ... Hans Knappertsbusch (March 12, 1888 - October 25, 1965) German conductor born in Elberfeld (present-day Wuppertal), best known for his performances of the music of Richard Wagner, Anton Bruckner and Richard Strauss. ... Clemens Krauss (born in Wien, March 31, 1893 – buried at Mexico City, May 16, 1954) was an Austrian conductors. ... PolyGram was the name from 1972 of the major label recording company started by Philips as a holding company for its music interests in 1945. ...

Modern productions


  • Bayreuth, Time Magazine, August 11, 1924
  • Spotts, Frederic, Bayreuth: A History of the Wagner Festival, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1994.
  • Wagner in Bayreuth, Documentary film on the festival narrated by Wolfgang Wagner. In German with English subtitles. Polygram Video, 1992
  • Wagner wins Bayreuth battle, BBC News Online, December 14, 2001

(Clockwise from upper left) Time magazine covers from May 7, 1945; July 25, 1969; December 31, 1999; September 14, 2001; and April 21, 2003. ... Yale University Press is a book publisher founded in 1908. ... Documentary film is a broad category of cinematic expression united by the intent to remain factual or non-fictional. ... In printed material In printed material, a subtitle is an explanatory or alternate title. ...

External Links

  • Link to a German language website Bayreuth Festival (currently in German only)

  Results from FactBites:
Bayreuth Festival - definition of Bayreuth Festival in Encyclopedia (327 words)
The driving force behind the composer's vision for the Festival was the ability to perform his operas in a perfectly ideal situation, according to Wagner's own standards.
The festival was plagued by money problems in its early years, and owes its survival to most generous support from King Ludwig II of Bavaria.
The Festival was closed during World War II and the town of Bayreuth sustained heavy bomb damage.
  More results at FactBites »



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