The Bayreuth Festival or Richard Wagner Festival is a music theater festival dedicated to the ten last operas by Richard Wagner (1813–1883). The festival has been held intermittently since 1876, and every year since 1951 in the festival hall on the Green Hill in Bayreuth , which the composer and architect Otto Brückwald (1841–1917) created especially for this purpose . The festival usually lasts from July 25th to August 28th.
- August 13th to 30th, 1876: the first Bayreuth Festival
- 1882 to 1914:
- 21 festival years (including Richard Wagner's participation in 1882), followed by an interruption due to the war and inflation
- There were no festivals in twelve years: 1885, 1887, 1890, 1893, 1895, 1898, 1900, 1903, 1905, 1907, 1910, 1913
- 1924 to 1944:
- 17 festival years
- four years without a festival: 1926, 1929, 1932, 1935
- A total of 39 festivals took place from 1876 to 1944.
- 1945 to 1950: failure for political and financial reasons (six years). Until then, there had been a total of 27 years without a festival since 1876.
- Since 1951: uninterrupted annual implementation (50th post-war festival: 2000)
- In 2011 the 100th Bayreuth Festival took place
- In 2020 the festival was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic . For the same reason, the 2021 Festival will take place with a reduced audience. On July 25, 2021, Oksana Lyniw became the first woman conductor on the Green Hill. She directed the premiere of The Flying Dutchman in a production by Dmitri Tcherniakov .
History until 1944
Richard Wagner wanted a theater where, as a composer, lyricist, dramaturge and artistic director , he could realize his ideas of the total work of art . Away from the metropolises - without distraction and without the compromises of a repertoire company - it should be able to fully devote itself to the performance of its works. In 1871 he decided on Bayreuth as the location. At the beginning of February 1872 he founded the board of directors of the festival, chaired by the local banker Friedrich Feustel . To finance the costs he estimated at 300,000 thalers for the construction of a festival hall and the first season, Wagner founded a patronage association , which, under the direction of Marie Countess von Schleinitz , a friend of his wife Cosima Wagner , issued shares for 300 thalers each. The buyer was given a seat for three cyclical performances of the ring . This is considered the invention of fundraising . Further associations were founded in various German cities. However, by the spring of 1873, only 340 letters of comfort could be issued. The topping-out ceremony for the Festspielhaus took place in October 1873, even before funding was secured. At the beginning of 1874, construction was threatened due to a lack of funds, whereupon King Ludwig II of Bavaria, out of friendship with Wagner, made a loan of 100,000 thalers available from his private fortune.
The analysis of the archives showed that, as in other opera houses, Jews were discriminated against in the course of the theater. “But the bitterly anti-Jewish ideological framework provided by Wagner himself, his wife Cosima or their son-in-law Houston Stewart Chamberlain , did not exist anywhere else. This clear image of the Jewish enemy only existed in Bayreuth, ” Hannes Heer summarized his research in 2012. Nevertheless, many important Jewish artists appeared regularly at the Bayreuth Festival. Wagner himself was friends with the Munich court music director Hermann Levi and, together with King Ludwig II, was able to assert him as conductor of the Parsifal premiere in 1882 against hostility from other quarters. The Austrian-American bass-baritone Friedrich Schorr was engaged as Wotan, Hans Sachs and Holländer from 1925 to 1931. Richard Wagner also had a close artistic collaboration with the German-Jewish opera impresario Angelo Neumann , who made Wagner's production of the Ring in 1876 on the original Bayreuth Festival well-known on theater tours throughout Europe. Up until the Second World War, the productions largely adhered to the stage directions in the original text and shaped a performance practice that also shaped the style of other opera houses.
The first festival began on August 13, 1876; they offered the world premiere of the complete Ring des Nibelungen on three days and one evening before. The guests included Franz Liszt , Anton Bruckner , Karl Klindworth , Camille Saint-Saëns , Peter Tschaikowski , Edvard Grieg , Lew Tolstoy , Paul Lindau , Friedrich Nietzsche and Gottfried Semper , as well as Kaiser Wilhelm I , Emperor Pedro II of Brazil and King Charles of Württemberg. King Ludwig II had attended the dress rehearsals from August 6th to 9th and came again to Bayreuth for the third and final cycle of performances, in which he withdrew from all public homage.
The artistic success of the performances was impaired by some technical mishaps. Because of the financial failure - debts of 148,000 marks remained - the next festival could not be held until 1882 (with the premiere of Parsifal ). As he wrote in a letter to Ludwig II, Wagner intended to gradually perform his other works in the Festspielhaus “in such a way that these performances can be passed on to my next posterity as a model of correctness”. The composer died a few months later. Until shortly before his death he thought about reworking his Tannhauser and the Flying Dutchman in order to make them “worthy of Bavaria”. Although he did not prohibit a performance of his early works ( Das Liebesverbot , Die Feen , Rienzi ), he did not show any interest in them. To this day it is customary in Bayreuth to play only the ten main works from the Flying Dutchman to Parsifal .
Wagner himself had not appointed a successor to direct the festival. After his unexpected death on February 13, 1883, they were continued by his widow and initially took place irregularly. Friends of the Wahnfried family were able to convince Cosima, who seemed apathetic for many weeks after the death of her husband, to take on this task. As early as July 1883, Parsifal was performed twelve times ; Cosima became the actual founder and fanatical guardian of the festival tradition. She stabilized this work in the festival years of 1884, 1886, 1888 and 1889.
For economic reasons - the festival operation was a purely private company of the Wagner family - had to be paused again and again in order to overcome financial bottlenecks. The audience demand was also not always sufficient, in some cases the games were played in front of a moderately full house. After Wagner's death in 1883, Adolf von Groß , a friend of the Wagner family, took over the financial management and introduced a "strict expenditure discipline". In this way the festival could gradually be financially secured. The loans from the private assets of the Bavarian royal family were repaid by the Wagner family until 1906.
The festival itself developed alternately between artistic stagnation and innovation. Cosima Wagner, who herself directed from 1886, had a strict idea of faithfulness to the work . In 1908, on urgent advice from her doctors, she handed over the management of the festival to her son Siegfried Wagner , who gradually made it possible to modernize the performances. Festival guests in the years before the First World War included Albert Schweitzer , Thomas Mann (1909), Igor Stravinsky (1910), Gerhart Hauptmann (1911), Ernest Newman and William Somerset Maugham .
The First World War forced the current season to end in 1914; the reimbursement of redeemed tickets caused a high deficit, so that the festival could not be held again until 1924. In 1921 a new German Festival Foundation took in more than five million marks from the sale of patronage certificates. However, the inflation of 1921/22 devalued these assets, so that it was only after a ten-year break, on July 22, 1924, that the festival could be reopened under the direction of Siegfried Wagner. The Meistersinger premiere turned out to be an overtly nationalist event; among the guests were Erich Ludendorff and Heinrich Claß . The final applause after the III. Act culminated in the Deutschlandlied, which the audience sang standing up . The festival management felt compelled to make an appeal that such statements should not be made.
In his will from 1929 Siegfried Wagner stipulated that the festival should be permanently the responsibility of the Wagner family and that only his father's works may be performed there in Bayreuth: “The festival hall may not be sold. It should always be made available to the purposes for which its builder intended it, only the festive performance of Richard Wagner's works. ”If these conditions were not met, the festival hall should be given to the city of Bayreuth, which in turn would go to the latter Edition would be bound. Whether the decree regarding the exclusion of other works is still binding has repeatedly been discussed - also by family members.
The festival was problematic at the beginning of the 1930s: In 1930 Siegfried Wagner died at the age of 61 from a heart attack suffered during the rehearsal period. The festival has now been taken over by his widow Winifred Wagner . Meanwhile, there was constant tension and jealousy between the newly appointed conductor Arturo Toscanini and the two other conductors from 1930 and 1931, Karl Muck and Wilhelm Furtwängler . Toscanini revoked his acceptance shortly before the rehearsals for the 1933 Festival began, as the atmosphere in Germany was hostile to foreigners and, above all, to Jews after the Nazis came to power.
Winifred Wagner's closeness to Adolf Hitler ensured that from 1933 the festival was financed by the state and relieved of all worries. But it also contributed significantly to the fact that Wagner (according to the literary scholar Hans Mayer ) was “traded below zero on the culture exchange” in 1945. Thomas Mann described Bayreuth as Hitler's court theater.
In the years up to the beginning of the Second World War, Hitler was a permanent guest in Bayreuth during the festival season. He visited Bayreuth for the last time in the summer of 1940. From this point onwards, so-called "war festivals" were carried out by order of Hitler. The Nazi organization Kraft durch Freude with its “Vacation and Travel” department took over the ticket sales. Head of this department was Bodo Lafferentz , who became Winifred's son-in-law in 1943 through his marriage to Verena Wagner . Lafferentz took over the assignment of the cards, which were given to wounded soldiers and their nursing staff as well as armaments workers. From 1941 the festival was increasingly influenced by the war. Since in the first week of the Festival in 1941 total blackout was ordered from around 9 p.m., the performances began shortly after noon. In 1944 only the Mastersingers of Nuremberg were on the program. The last of the twelve performances of the year took place on August 9th. It was the penultimate opera performance ever in the Third Reich; the last was the public rehearsal of the love of Danae by Richard Strauss in the Salzburg Festival Hall on August 16, 1944.
Post-war history - "Neubayreuth"
As part of the denazification process , the proceedings before the Bayreuth Spruchkammer focused exclusively on the person of Winifred Wagner, instead of examining the entanglements of the entire festival. Winifred was classified as a "fellow traveler" in the appellate court, and after she had legally renounced the direction of the festival in favor of her sons Wieland and Wolfgang Wagner , only a few conditions were imposed, which for her were not larger and for the re-establishment of the festival by her two Sons Wieland and Wolfgang did not represent any restrictions. This cleared the way for the festival to resume.
In 1949 the Society of Friends of Bayreuth was founded with the aim of raising money for the festival. As early as Pentecost 1950, DM 400,000 was available. To date, the Society of Friends of Bayreuth has made donations totaling 60 million euros for the Bayreuth Festival.
At this new beginning, the joint artistic and organizational management lay with the grandchildren of the festival founder, Wieland and Wolfgang Wagner. They succeeded in establishing annual festivals - usually with one new production per season. The first post-war festival began on July 30, 1951 with a highly acclaimed production of Parsifal by Wieland Wagner.
Since then, the program has traditionally featured a changing selection from Richard Wagner's main works: The Flying Dutchman , Tannhäuser , Lohengrin , The Ring of the Nibelung (with the four parts Das Rheingold , Die Walküre , Siegfried , Götterdämmerung ), Tristan and Isolde , Die Meistersinger von Nuremberg and Parsifal .
Occasionally Beethoven's Ninth Symphony was also performed in the Festspielhaus. Richard Wagner himself conducted this work on May 22nd, 1872 in the Margravial Opera House , on the occasion of the laying of the foundation stone for the Festspielhaus. As part of the festival, the ninth symphony was performed under the direction of Richard Strauss (1933), Wilhelm Furtwängler (1951, 1954), Paul Hindemith (1953), Karl Böhm (1963) and Christian Thielemann (2001). On the 100th anniversary of the death of Richard Wagner's father-in-law Franz Liszt , his Faust Symphony was performed in 1986 .
Stagings and participants
Various new impulses for opera and music theater came from Bayreuth, for example from 1951 through the productions by Wieland Wagner , who dared to make an aesthetic new beginning with his radical "clearing out" of the stage, which had a style-forming effect until the 1970s. In 1976, Patrice Chéreau's production of the Ring for the 100th anniversary of the Festival (the so-called Ring of the Century ) again saw a comprehensive stylistic change and renewal, which at first caused violent disturbance and protests, but was later recognized as trend-setting and artistically outstanding.
Musically, the festival performances - especially with regard to the choir and orchestra - are considered exceptional worldwide, which also has to do with the architectural and acoustic peculiarity of the building (see also the mystical abyss ). The soloists are invited for the respective season, whereby in the early years the honor of the invitation and the subsequent assignments compensated for the fact that the artists were usually paid well below their normal earnings. Astrid Varnay is quoted as saying: “We work in Bayreuth, we earn money elsewhere.” This principle goes back to Richard Wagner himself, who explained: “The singers and musicians only receive compensation from me, no payment. If you don't come to me out of honor and enthusiasm, I'll leave you where you are. ”This principle was softened in the following decades, so that“ no artist for the sake of Neubayreuth waives fair wages ”(Michael Karbaum). At the beginning of the 1950s, personnel costs still accounted for just under 50% of the total budget. In the 1970s, 78–80% were spent on salaries and wages, which corresponds to the standards of other large theaters or festivals.
Performances and visitors
Up to 32 performances take place in the Bayreuth Festival Hall every year. As in Richard Wagner's time, the performances begin in the afternoon; there are one-hour breaks between the lifts, which seem appropriate due to the length and complexity of Wagner's works and which have since been introduced at other theaters for Wagner performances.
For decades, the 30 performances were sold out well in advance. They can be seen by around 58,000 spectators. In contrast to this number, there was a demand of up to 500,000 card orders in some years, so that waiting times of ten or more years had to be expected. As a result, a black market with festival tickets developed , which in turn was to be countered with personalized admission tickets and controls. For the Mastersingers of Nuremberg in 1996, the wrath of Wolfgang Wagner has been passed down through a ticket sale for ten times the normal price. This non-transparent development was the result of the Wagner family's ticket allocation practice, at least until the end of the Wolfgang Wagner era: Nobody knew how many regular tickets went on sale and how many favorites, sponsors and groups of friends were on the allocation list of the festival management. It also remained unclear who actually attended the performances or who resold the tickets allocated at a profit.
In 2011 it became known that only around 40% of the tickets went on sale, the majority had been offered for sale to special target groups in the form of contingents. The largest recipient with 14,000 tickets annually was the Association of Friends of Bayreuth Patrons' Association , which supported the festival with donations of up to three million euros each year. Further contingents of purchase cards were made available to company sponsors, the city of Bayreuth, the Upper Franconia district and the Bavarian State Chancellery. Wagner circles of friends and musicians' organizations were taken into account as well as journalists (1000 free press tickets plus a special contingent for the Bavarian radio). Tour operators also received card allocations, which they bundled into packages with accommodation and catering . In 2011 the Federal Audit Office came to the conclusion that the allocation of these quotas was “incompatible with the federal funding goals”.
In response to the criticism, the 2012 Festival ended the tradition of initially offering two, from 2010 one performance exclusively for members of the DGB Bayern at a reduced price in order to honor its services for the re-establishment of the Festival after the Second World War. According to media reports, the tickets for these performances had been offered to a particularly high degree on the black market in the past, so that the actual target group was only partially reached. In 2012, ticket issuance was completely reorganized: from 2012, around 65% of tickets went on sale, which is why the Richard Wagner Association and all 138 Wagner Associations no longer received any quotas. Travel agencies did not get any more tickets either. The Society of Friends of Bayreuth Patrons' Association continues to receive preferential treatment . As a result of these changes, however, the demand for tickets for the Bayreuth Festival has since fallen sharply. In 2016, not all performances were sold out even on the day before the premiere. Empty seats at some performances had already been noticed on various occasions in the years before.
The regular admission ticket price in 2016 is between 30 and 320 euros (seats with restricted vision for 25 and 10 euros). In relation to the generally high artistic quality, the prices are considered extremely moderate, also compared to other festivals. For a long time, membership with the Friends of Bayreuth, which was associated with additional costs (high membership fee and desired donations), was considered a secure way of getting regular access to tickets. On the black market, surcharges of up to 700% on the regular admission price were paid. From the 2017 season, 25% of the card category price will be added to the ticket price to be paid for the premiere performances of the respective new production; for the remaining performances of the new production, 15% of the card category price will be added to the final ticket price. The old price categories apply to the resumption.
In the meantime, tickets are also being sold online for some of the performances, initially for a performance in the 2013 season that sold out in a few minutes. Ticket contingents have been sold online since 2014 and were initially sold out after a very short time. The Richard Wagner Association awards grants annually, primarily to enable students to attend the performances free of charge. This is also an attempt to do justice to Richard Wagner's ideal of making it possible for anyone seriously interested to attend the festival regardless of their financial resources.
The Bayreuth Festival Hall has been supported by the Richard Wagner Foundation Bayreuth since 1973 . Foundation members are the Federal Republic of Germany , the Free State of Bavaria , the City of Bayreuth , the Society of Friends of Bayreuth , the Bavarian State Foundation , the Upper Franconian Foundation , the Upper Franconian District and members of the Wagner family . The Managing Director of the Board of Trustees is the Lord Mayor of Bayreuth (currently Brigitte Merk-Erbe ). The festival has been carried out by Bayreuther Festspiele GmbH since 1986 . The budget of the festival is 16 million euros per year (as of 2012). The federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Bayreuth subsidize the festival operations annually with seven million euros; the city's share was increased from 1 million to 1.11 million euros in 2016.
Since it reopened in 1951 (until 1966 together with his brother Wieland ), Wolfgang Wagner was the artistic director of the festival . In the 1990s and 2000s, voices increased (also via the media ) calling for the festival director to resign in favor of various possible successors (including Nike Wagner , Eva Wagner-Pasquier and Wieland Lafferentz or Gudrun Wagner and Katharina Wagner ). In 2001, the Board of Trustees decided against the wishes of Wolfgang Wagner in favor of Eva Wagner-Pasquier, who, however, resigned from the office shortly after the election, as Wolfgang Wagner referred to his contract for life and did not want to give up his post voluntarily. After the sudden death of Gudrun Wagner - Wolfgang Wagner's wife and personal assistant - and given the old age of the festival director, the question of succession became topical again in November 2007. In April 2008, Wolfgang Wagner himself brought up a successor solution, consisting of his two daughters, and announced his resignation if the Board of Trustees would vote in favor of the half-sisters Eva and Katharina as the joint management team of the Bayreuth Festival.
After both Katharina Wagner and Eva Wagner-Pasquier had signaled their willingness to cooperate, Wagner announced in a letter to the Board of Trustees that he would resign from his position as festival director on August 31, 2008. One week before the end of the application period and the meeting of the Board of Trustees on September 1, 2008, Nike Wagner also applied to take over the management of the festival together with the renowned cultural manager Gerard Mortier . At this meeting, the Board of Trustees elected Wolfgang Wagner's two daughters, Katharina Wagner and Eva Wagner-Pasquier, as the new directors of the Bayreuth Festival.
After her contract in 2008 expired, Eva Wagner-Pasquier left the management team at the end of the 2015 season. Since then, Katharina Wagner has led the festival alone. At her side was Heinz-Dieter Sense as managing director of Festspiele GmbH until the end of 2015, and Holger von Berg in the same position since 2016 . On June 29, 2015 it was announced that Christian Thielemann had already been appointed music director of the Bayreuth Festival on March 15, 2015 and with effect until 2020, a position that has not yet existed. Thielemann has been musical advisor to the festival management since 2010 and in this new position should pass on his experience and deal with all musical matters of the house. At a press conference of the festival on July 25, 2015 it was announced that Thielemann's tasks were to help shape the sound of the Bayreuth Festival, to select the orchestra and to build up a staff of assistants. In addition, he should advise the artistic management and provide international soloists in this function.
In March 2020, the festival of the same summer was canceled due to COVID-19. The announced new production of the Ring des Nibelungen was postponed to 2022, with the same management team. At the end of April 2020, the festival announced that Katharina Wagner had to suspend her function due to illness. Heinz-Dieter Sense was appointed as their acting representative. In mid-September 2020, Ms. Wagner returned after her recovery and took over her management agendas again.
The working times of the respective festival director are marked in color, based on the year of the premiere.
|Richard Wagner||1876 to 1882|
|Cosima Wagner||1883 to 1906|
|Siegfried Wagner||1908 to 1930|
|Winifred Wagner||1931 to 1944|
|Wieland and Wolfgang Wagner||1951 to 1966|
|Wolfgang Wagner||1967 to 2008|
|Eva Wagner-Pasquier and Katharina Wagner||2009 to 2015|
|Katharina Wagner||since September 2015|
|year||plant||Staging||musical direction||Stage design||Costumes|
|1876||Ring -1-||Richard Wagner||Hans Richter||Josef Hoffmann||Carl Emil Doepler|
|1882 (-1933)||Parsifal -1-||Richard Wagner||Hermann Levi (1882–84, 1886, 1889, 1891–92, 1894), Franz Fischer (1882–84, 1899), Richard Wagner (last performance ended in 1882), Felix Mottl (1888, 1897), Anton Seidl (1897 ), Karl Muck (1901-02, 1906, 1908-09, 1911-12, 1914, 1924-25, 1927-28, 1930), Michael Balling (1904, 1906, 1908, 1911-12), Franz Beidler (1906 ), Siegfried Wagner (1909), Willibald Kaehler (1924-25), Arturo Toscanini (1931), Richard Strauss (1933)||
Max Brückner ,
Paul von Joukowsky
|Paul von Joukowsky|
|1886 (-1906)||Tristan -1-||Cosima Wagner||Felix Mottl (1886, 1889, 1891–92, 1906), Michael Balling (1906)||Max Brückner||Joseph Flüggen|
|1888 (-1899)||Mastersinger -1-||August Harlacher||Hans Richter (1888–89, 1892, 1899), Felix Mottl (1892)||Max Brückner|
|1891 (-1904)||Tannhauser -1-||Cosima Wagner||Felix Mottl (1891–92), Richard Strauss (1894), Siegfried Wagner (1904)||Max Brückner||Joseph Flüggen|
|1894 (-1909)||Lohengrin -1-||Cosima Wagner||Felix Mottl (1894), Siegfried Wagner (1908-09), Karl Muck (1909)||Max Brückner||Joseph Flüggen|
|1896 (-1931)||Ring -2-||Cosima Wagner||Hans Richter (1896–97, 1901–02, 1904, 1906, 1908), Felix Mottl (1896), Siegfried Wagner (1896–97, 1899, 1901–02, 1906, 1911–12, 1928), Franz Beidler (1904 ), Michael Balling (1909, 1911–12, 1914, 1924–25), Franz von Hoeßlin (1927–28), Karl Elmendorff (1930–31)||Max Brückner||
Arpad Schmidhammer ,
|1901 (-1902)||Dutch -1-||Siegfried Wagner||Felix Mottl||Max Brückner||Max Rossmann|
|1911 (-1925)||Mastersinger -2-||Siegfried Wagner||Hans Richter (1911–12), Fritz Busch (1924), Karl Muck (1925)||Max Brückner||Daniela Thode|
|1914||Dutch -2-||Siegfried Wagner||Siegfried Wagner||Siegfried Wagner||Daniela Thode, Max Rossmann|
|1927 (-1931)||Tristan -2-||Siegfried Wagner||Karl Elmendorff (1927-28), Arturo Toscanini (1930), Wilhelm Furtwängler (1931)||Kurt Söhnlein||Daniela Thode, Irma Kidney Home|
|1930 (-1931)||Tannhauser -2-||Siegfried Wagner||Arturo Toscanini||Kurt Söhnlein||Daniela Thode, Irma Kidney Home|
|1933 (-1934)||Mastersinger -3-||Heinz Tietjen||Karl Elmendorff, Heinz Tietjen||Emil Preetorius||Emil Preetorius, Kurt Palm|
|1933 (-1942)||Ring -3-||Heinz Tietjen||Karl Elmendorff (1933–34, 1942), Heinz Tietjen (1934, 1936, 1938–39, 1941), Wilhelm Furtwängler (1936–37), Franz von Hoeßlin (1940)||Emil Preetorius||Emil Preetorius, Kurt Palm|
|1934 (-1936)||Parsifal -2-||Heinz Tietjen||Franz von Hoeßlin (1934), Richard Strauss (1934), Wilhelm Furtwängler (1936)||Alfred Roller||Emil Preetorius, Alfred Roller|
|1936 (-1937)||Lohengrin -2-||Heinz Tietjen||Wilhelm Furtwängler (1936), Heinz Tietjen (1936–37)||Emil Preetorius||Emil Preetorius|
|1937 (-1939)||Parsifal -3-||Heinz Tietjen||Wilhelm Furtwängler (1937), Franz von Hoeßlin (1938–39)||Wieland Wagner||Alfred Roller, Wieland Wagner|
|1938 (-1939)||Tristan -3-||Heinz Tietjen||Karl Elmendorff (1938), Victor de Sabata (1939)||Emil Preetorius||Emil Preetorius|
|1939 (-1942)||Dutch -3-||Heinz Tietjen||Karl Elmendorff (1939–41), Richard Kraus (1942)||Emil Preetorius||Emil Preetorius|
|1943 (-1944)||Mastersinger -4-||Heinz Tietjen||Wilhelm Furtwängler, Hermann Abendroth||Wieland Wagner||Kurt Palm, Emil Preetorius,
|1951 (-1973)||Parsifal -4-||Wieland Wagner||Hans Knappertsbusch (1951–52, 1954–64), Clemens Krauss (1953), André Cluytens (1957, 1965), Pierre Boulez (1966–68, 1970), Horst Stein (1969), Eugen Jochum (1971–73)||Wieland Wagner||Charlotte Vocke|
|1951 (-1952)||Mastersinger -5-||Rudolf Otto Hartmann||Herbert von Karajan (1951), Hans Knappertsbusch (1951–52)||Hans C. Reissinger||Margarete Kaulbach|
|1951 (-1958)||Ring -4-||Wieland Wagner||Herbert von Karajan (1951), Hans Knappertsbusch (1951, 1956–58), Joseph Keilberth (1952–56), Clemens Krauss (1953)||Wieland Wagner||Ingrid Jorissen|
|1952 (-1953)||Tristan -4-||Wieland Wagner||Herbert von Karajan (1952), Eugen Jochum (1953)||Wieland Wagner||Fred Thiel|
|1953 (-1954)||Lohengrin -3-||Wolfgang Wagner||Joseph Keilberth (1953–54), Eugen Jochum (1954)||Wolfgang Wagner||Fred Thiel|
|1954 (-1955)||Tannhauser -3-||Wieland Wagner||Joseph Keilberth (1954–55), Eugen Jochum (1954), André Cluytens (1955)||Wieland Wagner||Kurt Palm|
|1955 (-1956)||Dutch -4-||Wolfgang Wagner||Joseph Keilberth (1955–56), Hans Knappertsbusch (1955)||Wolfgang Wagner||Kurt Palm|
|1956 (-1960)||Mastersinger -6-||Wieland Wagner||André Cluytens (1956–58), Erich Leinsdorf (1959), Hans Knappertsbusch (1960)||Wieland Wagner||Kurt Palm|
|1957 (-1959)||Tristan -5-||Wolfgang Wagner||Wolfgang Sawallisch||Wolfgang Wagner||Kurt Palm|
|1958 (-1962)||Lohengrin -4-||Wieland Wagner||André Cluytens (1958), Lovro von Matačić (1959), Heinz Tietjen (1959), Ferdinand Leitner (1960), Lorin Maazel (1960), Wolfgang Sawallisch (1962)||Wieland Wagner||Kurt Palm|
|1959 (-1965)||Dutch -5-||Wieland Wagner||Wolfgang Sawallisch (1959–61), Otmar Suitner (1965)||Wieland Wagner||Kurt Palm|
|1960 (-1964)||Ring -5-||Wolfgang Wagner||Rudolf Kempe (1960–63), Berislav Klobučar (1964)||Wolfgang Wagner||Kurt Palm|
|1961 (-1967)||Tannhauser -4-||Wieland Wagner||Wolfgang Sawallisch (1961–62), Otmar Suitner (1964), André Cluytens (1965), Carl Melles (1966), Berislav Klobučar (1967)||Wieland Wagner||Kurt Palm|
|1962 (-1970)||Tristan -6-||Wieland Wagner||Karl Böhm (1962–64, 1966, 1968–70)||Wieland Wagner||Kurt Palm|
|1963 (-1964)||Mastersinger -7-||Wieland Wagner||Thomas Schippers (1963), Karl Böhm (1964), Robert Heger (1964)||Wieland Wagner||Kurt Palm|
|1965 (-1969)||Ring -6-||Wieland Wagner||Karl Böhm (1965–66; Walküre and Götterdämmerung 1967), Otmar Suitner (1966–67), Lorin Maazel (1968–69)||Wieland Wagner||Kurt Palm|
|1967 (-1972)||Lohengrin -5-||Wolfgang Wagner||Rudolf Kempe (1967), Berislav Klobučar (1967), Alberto Erede (1968), Silvio Varviso (1971–72)||Wolfgang Wagner||Kurt Palm|
|1968 (-1975)||Mastersinger -8-||Wolfgang Wagner||Berislav Klobučar (1968–69), Hans Wallat (1970), Silvio Varviso (1973–74), Heinrich Hollreiser (1975)||Wolfgang Wagner||Kurt Palm|
|1969 (-1971)||Dutch -6-||August Everding||Silvio Varviso (1969–70), Karl Böhm (1971), Hans Wallat (1971)||Josef Svoboda||Jörg Zimmermann|
|1970 (-1975)||Ring -7-||Wolfgang Wagner||Horst Stein||Wolfgang Wagner||Kurt Palm|
|1972 (-1978)||Tannhauser -5-||Götz Friedrich||Erich Leinsdorf (1972), Horst Stein (1972–73), Heinrich Hollreiser (1973–74), Colin Davis (1977–78)||Jürgen Rose||Jürgen Rose|
|1974 (-1977)||Tristan -7-||August Everding||Carlos Kleiber (1974-76), Horst Stein (1976-77)||Josef Svoboda||Reinhard Heinrich|
|1975 (-1981)||Parsifal -5-||Wolfgang Wagner||Horst Stein (1975-81), Hans Zender (1975)||Wolfgang Wagner||Reinhard Heinrich|
|1976 (-1980)||Ring -8-
(" Ring of the Century ")
|Patrice Chereau||Pierre Boulez||Richard Peduzzi||Jacques Schmidt|
|1978 (-1985)||Dutch -7-||Harry copper||Dennis Russell Davies (1978–80), Peter Schneider (1981–82), Woldemar Nelsson (1984–85)||Peter Sykora||Reinhard Heinrich|
|1979 (-1982)||Lohengrin -6-||Götz Friedrich||Edo de Waart (1979), Woldemar Nelsson (1980-82)||Günther Uecker||Frida Parmeggiani|
|1981 (-1987)||Tristan -8-||Jean-Pierre Ponnelle||Daniel Barenboim||Jean-Pierre Ponnelle||Jean-Pierre Ponnelle|
|1981 (-1988)||Mastersinger -9-||Wolfgang Wagner||Mark Elder (1981), Horst Stein (1982–84, 1986), Michael Schønwandt (1987–88)||Wolfgang Wagner||Reinhard Heinrich|
|1982 (-1988)||Parsifal -6-||Götz Friedrich||James Levine (1982-86, 1988), Daniel Barenboim (1987)||Andreas Reinhardt||Andreas Reinhardt|
|1983 (-1986)||Ring -9-||Peter Hall||Georg Solti (1983), Peter Schneider (1984–86)||William Dudley||William Dudley|
|1985 (-1995)||Tannhauser -6-||Wolfgang Wagner||Giuseppe Sinopoli||Wolfgang Wagner||Reinhard Heinrich|
|1987 (-1993)||Lohengrin -7-||Werner Herzog||Peter Schneider||Henning von Gierke||Henning von Gierke|
|1988 (-1992)||Ring -10-||Harry copper||Daniel Barenboim||Hans Schavernoch||Reinhard Heinrich|
|1989 (-2001)||Parsifal -7-||Wolfgang Wagner||James Levine (1989–93), Giuseppe Sinopoli (1994–99), Christoph Eschenbach (2000), Christian Thielemann (2001)||Wolfgang Wagner||Reinhard Heinrich|
|1990 (-1999)||Dutch -8-||Dieter Dorn||Giuseppe Sinopoli (1990–93), Peter Schneider (1994, 1998–99)||Jürgen Rose||Jürgen Rose|
|1993 (-1999)||Tristan -9-||Heiner Muller||Daniel Barenboim||Erich Wonder||Yōji Yamamoto|
|1994 (-1998)||Ring -11-||Alfred Kirchner||James Levine||Rosalie||Rosalie|
|1996 (-2002)||Mastersinger -10-||Wolfgang Wagner||Daniel Barenboim (1996–99), Christian Thielemann (2000–02)||Wolfgang Wagner||Reinhard Heinrich|
|1999 (–2005)||Lohengrin -8-||Keith Warner||Antonio Pappano (1999-2001), Andrew Davis (2002-03), Peter Schneider (2005)||Stefanos Lazaridis||Sue Blane|
|2000 (-2004)||Ring -12-||Jürgen Flimm||Giuseppe Sinopoli (2000), Ádám Fischer (2001-04)||Erich Wonder||Florence von Gerkan|
|2002 (-2007)||Tannhauser -7-||Philippe Arlaud||Christian Thielemann (2002–05), Christoph Ulrich Meier (2007)||Philippe Arlaud||Carin Bartels|
|2003 (-2006)||Dutch -9-||Claus Guth||Marc Albrecht||Christian Schmidt||Christian Schmidt|
|2004 (-2007)||Parsifal -8-||Christoph Schlingensief||Pierre Boulez (2004–05), Ádám Fischer (2006–07)||
Daniel Angermayr ,
|2005 (-2012)||Tristan -10-||Christoph Marthaler||Eiji Ōue (2005), Peter Schneider (2006, 2008-09, 2011-12)||Anna Viebrock||Anna Viebrock|
|2006 (–2010)||Ring -13-||Tankred Dorst||Christian Thielemann||Frank Philipp Schlößmann||Bernd Ernst Skodzig|
|2007 (–2011)||Mastersinger -11-||Katharina Wagner||Sebastian Weigle||Tilo Steffens||Michaela Barth|
|2008 (-2012)||Parsifal -9-||Stefan Herheim||Daniele Gatti (2008-11), Philippe Jordan (2012)||Heike Scheele||Gesine Völlm|
|2010 (–2015)||Lohengrin -9-||Hans Neuenfels||Andris Nelsons (2010-14), Alain Altinoglu (2015)||Reinhard von der Thannen||Reinhard von der Thannen|
|2011 (–2014)||Tannhauser -8-||Sebastian Baumgarten||Thomas Hengelbrock (2011), Peter Tilling (2011), Christian Thielemann (2012), Axel Kober (2013-14)||Joep van Lieshout||Nina von Mechow|
|2012 (–2018)||Dutch -10-||Jan Philipp Gloger||Christian Thielemann (2012–14), Axel Kober (2015–16, 2018)||Christof Hetzer||Karin Jud|
|2013 (–2017, 2018 Die Walküre)||Ring -14-||Frank Castorf||Kirill Petrenko (2013–15), Marek Janowski (2016–17), Plácido Domingo (2018 Die Walküre)||Aleksandar Denic||Adriana Braga Peretzki|
|2015 (–2019)||Tristan -11-||Katharina Wagner||Christian Thielemann (2015-19)||Frank Philipp Schlößmann, Matthias Lippert||Thomas Kaiser|
|2016 (-2019)||Parsifal -10-||Uwe Eric Laufenberg||Hartmut Haenchen (2016–17), Marek Janowski (2017), Semyon Bychkov (2018–19)||Gisbert Jäkel||Jessica Karge|
|2017 (-?)||Mastersinger -12-||Barrie Kosky||Philippe Jordan (2017-?)||Rebecca Ringst||Klaus Bruns|
|2018 (-?)||Lohengrin -10-||Yuval Sharon||Christian Thielemann (2018-?)||Neo Rauch||Rosa Loy|
|2019 (-?)||Tannhauser||Tobias Kratzer||Valery Gergiev (2019), Christian Thielemann (2019)||Rainer Sellmaier||Rainer Sellmaier|
|2021 (-?)||The Flying Dutchman||Dmitri Tcherniakov||Oksana Lyniv||Dmitri Tcherniakov||Elena Zaytseva|
|year||plant||Staging||musical direction||Stage design||Costumes|
Planning for the upcoming festival
|year||plant||Staging||musical direction||Stage design||Costumes|
|2022 (-?)||ring||Valentin Black||Pietari Inkinen||Andrea Cozzi||Andy visit|
The bouncers of the Festspielhaus in Bayreuth were called “Blue Girls” . The name arose from the traditional blue color of their uniform until 2008. Since the festival summer of 2009, however, they have been dressed in a uniform gray; from the 2018 season, the admission staff will be dressed in dark pantsuits.
In earlier times it was preferably unmarried young women from the vicinity of Bayreuth, afterwards students of theater and opera-related courses from Bayreuth, Germany, Europe and the world dominated. They had the opportunity to watch and listen to almost all 30 performances of a festival season of the Richard Wagner Festival. From the 2015 season, male bouncers will also be on duty.
Media marketing, guest performance
On August 18, 1931, the German Hour in Bavaria broadcast a performance live from the Festspielhaus for the first time: Tristan und Isolde , conducted by Wilhelm Furtwängler . More than 200 European, American and African channels were connected; it was the "first world broadcast in the history of broadcasting".
Movie and TV
There are film recordings of some Bayreuth productions, including:
On January 30th and February 1st, 2019, the Bayreuth Festival hosted a guest performance at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi , its first ever. Die Walküre will be performed in concert, with a film produced especially for the occasion as the background. Markus Poschner is the musical director .
Public viewing and internet
In 2008 the first public viewing of a performance of the Bayreuth Festival took place as a live broadcast from the Festspielhaus . At the Bayreuth Festival 2010, the first public viewing for children was in the morning with the film screening of the children's opera Tannhäuser and the singer's war on Wartburg as well as the interactive Wagner adventure course and supporting program for children afterwards. The performances could also be followed as a live stream on the Internet.
After the sponsor Siemens withdrew, there was no public viewing on the Volksfestplatz in 2012 . Instead, a performance of Parsifal was shown live in over a hundred cinemas on August 11th. The break program with insights behind the scenes and interviews was moderated by Katharina Wagner , Klaus Florian Vogt and Axel Brüggemann . In 2013 a performance of the Flying Dutchman, 2014 one of Tannhauser, 2015 one of Tristan in the production of Katharina Wagner and in 2016 one of Parsifal under the direction of Hartmut Haenchen was broadcast in the cinema. In 2017, Barrie Kosky's Meistersinger production was broadcast in cinemas, on Sky Arts and in a live stream on the BR-Klassik website .
Since the festival was resumed after the Second World War in 1951, there have been introductory lectures on the performance days for the performances that take place on the same days. The speakers for this series of events proposed by Wieland Wagner were initially Erich Rappl and, from 1998, Stefan Mickisch . For several years now, two introductory lectures have been held for each performance, speakers are or were Stefan Mickisch and Detlev Eisinger (in this position from 2002 to 2008 inclusive). Often more than 10,000 listeners per season are counted. Lectures in English and French will also be offered on individual days. In addition to the commercial introductions to the work, there have been staging-related introductory lectures in the Festspielhaus itself for some years now, but these are reserved for people who have a ticket for the respective performance in the evening. These lectures start at 10:30 a.m. on the day of the performance. The speaker is Sven Friedrich, director of the Richard Wagner Museum with the national archive and research facility of the Richard Wagner Foundation Bayreuth. Since 2013, generally accessible introductory lectures have been offered two hours before the start of the performance in the Walhall Lounge directly on the festival grounds.
Richard Wagner for children
In 2009, an approximately one-hour adaptation of the Flying Dutchman , designed for children from six to ten years of age, was played on rehearsal stage IV of the Festspielhaus (text version: Alexander Busche; facility for 19 musicians / musical director: Christoph Ulrich Meier ; director: Alvaro Schoeck, set design: Merle Vierck; cooperation partner: University of Music “Hanns Eisler” Berlin ).
In 2010 a Tannhäuser adaptation was played, in 2011 a ring for children, in 2012 a child-friendly version of the Meistersinger von Nürnberg (director: Eva-Maria Weiss; musical director: Hartmut Keil ), 2013 (director: Michael Höppner; musical director: Boris Schäfer) one by Tristan und Isolde, 2014 a Lohengrin (director: Maria-Magdalena Kwaschik; musical director: Boris Schäfer), 2015 Parsifal in a version by Katharina Wagner (director: Tristan Braun; musical director: Boris Schäfer). and in 2016 a child-friendly version of the Flying Dutchman. In 2017 a new Tannhäuser production was performed and thus the entire Bayreuth canon of works is also in its second series in the children's operas. The 10 performances take place in the first two weeks of the festival (July 25th - August 10th) and have been shown on rehearsal stage IV since 2009. The children's festival orchestra is the Brandenburg State Orchestra Frankfurt (Oder) . A special feature is the participation of children in the production through costume competitions or as extras on the stage.
- Gustav Mahler said in a letter to his friend Fritz Löhr after a Bayreuth performance of “Parsifal” in July 1883: “When I stepped out of the Festspielhaus, unable to speak, I knew that the greatest, most painful thing had dawned on me and that I will carry it with me through my life undeclared ”.
- After visiting Parsifal in 1910, Igor Stravinsky declared that only the thought of the cigarette, the beer and the sausages during the break had made him survive the agony.
- Vicco von Bülow alias Loriot was a regular festival guest. In an interview he responded to the questions: “What is perfect happiness for you?” - “Bayreuth (arrival)”. "The greatest misfortune?" - "Bayreuth (departure)".
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- Cf. Brigitte Hamann: Winifred Wagner or Hitler's Bayreuth , pp. 143–173.
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