28 August 2011

Tickets to the Bayreuth Festival 2012

For the Festival Season 2012 there will be some novelties in Bayreuth Festival's ticket sale: For the first time tickets can be applied for online.

At http://ticket.btfs.de applicants can register starting September 15, 2011. First time applicants can register her. Repeat orders can also be placed in the system: The customers receive a personal access code with their annual ticket order form which takes into account their application and ticket history. Application via post is also possible.

In addition, it will also be possible to pay for the ticket invoice by credit card.

Stefan Herheim's Parsifal will be recorded

Great news from Bayreuth! On 5 August 2012 Stefan Herheim's Parsifal will be recorded! Conductor will be Philippe Jordan, according to the Bayreuth Festival newsletter.

24 August 2011

Final day for Katharina's Meistersinger

Today is the final performance of Katharina Wagner's Meistersinger production. Stefan Vinke will sing Walther von Stolzing (replaces Burkhard Fritz).

Have you seen the production in Bayreuth or on DVD? Will you miss the it?

04 August 2011

Penelope Turing on the Bayreuth Festival

"From the earliest days of its festivals, to sing or conduct at Bayreuth was to receive the accolade of greatness in the Wagnerian field. Glance through the programmes of the past and one finds a galaxy of famous names. They all considered it the highest honour they could win and came, in the old days, for very low fees. Artistically and professionally the Bayreuth hallmark ensured engagements wherever an operahouse aspired to the best, and with that came big money.

Penelope Turing: "Hans Hotter - Man and Artist" p 120

Hans Neuenfels: Lohengrin, Bayreuth 2011

Excerpts from Mark Berry's review on Wagneropera.net:

The orchestra was on fine form indeed, its strings silky and aspiring upwards in the First Act Prelude. (There was actually a minor slip here, but that merely served to highlight the excellence elsewhere.) Andris Nelsons fashioned an account of the score that was largely unobtrusive. There were occasions when his growing mannerism of slowing things down excessively and thereafter speeding up as if to compensate – almost like a giant-scale conception of rubato – manifested itself, but for the most part he proved himself a faithful guide. It may not have sounded like ‘great’ Wagner, but it was certainly good Wagner. The choral singing probably did qualify as ‘great’. I fear that I may become unduly repetitive extolling the excellence of Eberhard Friedrich’s chorus, but the extolling really needs to be done. And to think, all the time, the chorus members had to act their roles as individual rats too.


Samuel Youn (Heerrufer), Georg Zeppenfeld (Heinrich) and Tómas Tómasson (Telramund). Photo: Enrico Nawrath / Bayreuther Festspiele

[...] Petra Lang was a magnificent Ortrud. Had I not heard – and equally importantly, seen – Waltraud Meier in the role, I should have been even more awestruck. As it was, she built up to a terrifying, blood-curdling climax at the tragic close, which even rivalled Meier. [...] Georg Zeppenfeld showed us an intriguing Henry the Fowler, powerful in his suggestion of diseased decadence: quite different from the norm, but compellingly so.


It is a Lohengrin one does not easily forget: numbered laboratory rats provide an image that lodges itself in one’s mind, and makes one think, which is just what good musical drama should do. Klaus Florian Vogt and Annette Dasch. Photo: Enrico Nawrath / Bayreuther Festspiele

Read Mark Berry's review on Wagneropera.net


Klaus Florian Vogt as Lohengrin.

Read Mark Berry's review on Wagneropera.net

03 August 2011

Sebastian Baumgarten: Tannhäuser, Bayreuth 2011

Sebastian Baumgarten Tannhäuser

All photos: Enrico Nawrath / Bayreuther Festspiele

Wagneropera.net's critic Mark Berry searched for what might be valuable in Sebastian Baumgarten's production of Tannhäuser at the Bayreuth Festival this summer to attempt to discover what grounds there might be for a dissenting opinion. Unfortunately, that was to prove a devil’s advocacy too far.
Joop van Lieshour’s ‘obsessive Installation’ is the principal character (‘Hauptrolle’) in Sebastian Baumgarten's production of Tannhäuser at Bayreuth – so much for Tannhäuser and Elisabeth – and this installation’s business is recycling of human excrement into food and alcohol, the latter so as to pacify and therefore to prevent rebellion. (As the late Anna Russell used to say, ‘I’m not making this up, you know!’…

Read Mark Berry's review: Sebastian Baumgarten: Tannhäuser, Bayreuth 2011

Michael Nagy

According to Mark Berry, two performances were excellent. Günther Groissböck displayed the most recognisably ‘Wagnerian’ voice, and sang handsomely indeed as the Landgrave. And if Michael Nagy could not efface my memories of Christian Gerhaher at the aforementioned Covent Garden performances, no one in my experience ever has, whether live or on record. Nagy’s Wolfram was attentive to all aspects of the text, and impressively acted too: I do not recall Wolfram’s jealousy registering quite so clearly, or movingly.

Camilla Nylund, Elisabeth
Camilla Nylund as Elisabeth: Dich, teure Halle; grüss' ich wieder.