Bayreuth Festival


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Bayreuth Festival,

also called the Richard Wagner Festival, annual season of performances of WagnerWagner, Richard
, 1813–83, German composer, b. Leipzig. Life and Work

Wagner was reared in a theatrical family, had a classical education, and began composing at 17.
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's works, held in the Bavarian town of Bayreuth. Around 1851, Wagner began to visualize a festival theater that would be devoted to the performance of great German works for the theater. In 1876 the Wagner Festival Theatre (the Festspielhaus) was completed at Bayreuth, and the first festival took place. Planned by Wagner himself, the Festspielhaus is an amphitheater with many notable features, including a sunken, covered orchestra pit and unusually fine acoustics. Despite the composer's original intention, the Bayreuth Festival presents performances consisting solely of Wagner's works, usually Parsifal, the "Ring" cycle, and one other work. The festival was interrupted for seven years after World War II but resumed in 1951.

Bibliography

See study by F. Spotts (1996).

Bayreuth Festival

Late July through end of August
An internationally famous month-long festival in Bayreuth (pronounced buy-ROIT), Bavaria, Germany, celebrating the music of Richard Wagner. It features six to eight Wagner operas and is usually sold out a year in advance. Performances are in the Festspielhaus (Festival Theater) designed by Wagner himself specifically for the presentation of his works. The festival was launched with the first complete performance of the four-opera Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung), triumphantly presented in the new Festspielhaus on Aug. 13, 14, 16, and 17, 1876. Except for wartime interruptions, the festival has been staged every year since then. Wagner had moved to Bayreuth in 1874, and lived in the house he called Wahnfried (Peace from Delusion) until his death in 1883. During those years, he composed his last work, the sacred festival drama Parsifal, and it was produced at Bayreuth in 1882. The festival was directed after Wagner's death by his wife Cosima; their son Seigfried took over as director in 1930, and grandsons Wieland and Wolfgang Wagner revived it after World War II, in 1951.
CONTACTS:
Bayreuther Festspiele GmbH
Festival Hill 1-2
Bayreuth, 95445 Germany
49-921-787-80
www.bayreuther-festspiele.de
SOURCES:
GdWrldFest-1985, p. 83
MusFestEurBrit-1980, p. 97
MusFestWrld-1963, p. 47
References in periodicals archive ?
Another CD re-release from a previous operatic LP recording is a thrilling account of Wagner's Lohengrin, set down from a live performance at the Bayreuth Festival on July 30, 1967 (Orfeo).
Other outstanding events include the Bayreuth Festival, Maypole Raising, Whitsun and The Master's Draught.
Contract award notice: General restoration Bayreuth Festival House - 2nd construction section Natural stone, masonry, plastering, concrete maintenance and painting works.
Audi has been associated with international music festivals such as the Salzburg Festival in Austria; Bayreuth Festival in Germany; and recently the Beijing Music Festival in China.
CBSO conducted by Andris Nelsons See Andris Nelsons conduct the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) one last time on May 8 The CBSO music director has built a global reputation as an interpreter of the German romantic repertoire - he's one of the youngest conductors ever to be invited to conduct at Richard Wagner's Bayreuth Festival - and in his final season with the CBSO, this is an unmissable opportunity to hear him in the music closest to his heart.
The premiere performance of the full Ring cycle, which takes about 15 hours, was in 1876 at the Bayreuth Festival in Germany which continues to honour Wagner's music to this day.
In 1960, at age 30, he became the first American to conduct at the Bayreuth Festival in Germany.
He also appeared in the BBC film Wagner & Me which followed preparations for the 2009 Bayreuth Festival.
Deutsche Grammophon's 2007 DVD release of Parsifal, as staged by Wolfgang Wagner for the 1981 Bayreuth Festival, is also worth knowing.
All the more remarkable is Norman Schweikert's fascinating reconstruction of the lives of the brothers Franz Xaver (1856-1938) and Josef (1848-1909) Reiter, pupils of Franz Strauss (horn playing father of Richard Strauss) and prominent figures in the orchestral worlds of 19th- and 20thcentury Germany (both were players in the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra) and America.
Thereafter, until the fall of the Third Reich in 1945, the annual Bayreuth festival was used as a propaganda tool by the Nazis, with Der Fuehrer personally attending the ceremonies until 1939.