Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bayreuth Festival Gears Up For Opening of 100th Season

"The Richard Wagner festival in Bayreuth, Germany will be starting its 100th season on Monday with a new production of Tannhäuser. And marking this centennial milestone of the world-renowned opera festival, Sebastian Baumgarten will be making his debut as stage director in the landmark opera house atop Bayreuth's celebrated Green Hill. With Thomas Hengelbrock conducting, Swedish singer Lars Clevemann will have the title role in the opera subtitled The Battle of the Singers in Wartburg Castle. Festival director Eva Wagner-Pasquier, amid the rehearsals underway, stresses the high artistic expectations of the festival in interpreting the works of her great-grandfather.'We want to offer the very best worldwide,' she says. The festival itself is not celebrating a birthday this year. The two co-directors Katharina Wagner and Eva Wagner-Pasquier are instead focusing more on the year 2013 - the 200th anniversary of the birth of their great-grandfather, and likewise the 130th anniversary of his death....Every year, the festival opening attracts prominent people from politics, business and culture, and it will be no different this time. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a regular guest in Bayreuth, is scheduled to come. Among various other dignitaries expected at the premiere, there will be the new head of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde, European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet, EU Health Commissioner John Dalli, and a number of German actors and actresses including Veronica Ferres, Maria Furtwängler and Edgar Selge. With his Tannhäuser, Baumgarten will be putting the focus of the conflict of the title character torn between the sensual world of Venus and the clearly-
structured system in the Wartburg Castle. 'I am not interested in the yearning for a dreamlike opulence, but rather in the fundamental philosophical aspects,' Baumgarten told the German Press Agency dpa. The selection of the singers turned out to be an 'absolutely lucky break,' the 42-year-old says. Along with Lars Clevemann as Tannhäuser, Michael Nagy will be playing the role of Wolfram von Eschenbach, Camilla Nylund singing the Elisabeth role and Stephanie Friede performing as Venus. Guenter Groissboek plays the landgrave, and Lothar Odinius is in the role of Walther von der Vogelweide. Besides Tannhäuser, this year's programme returns the Hans Neuenfels staging of Lohengrin (conductor: Andris Nelsons), the Christoph Marthaler staging of Tristan and Isolde (conductor: Peter Schneider), Stefan Herheim's interpretation of Parsifal (conductor: Daniele Gatti), and for the last time, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg." [Source]

No comments:

Post a Comment