• Germany's news in English

Bayreuth Wagner festival opens

AFP/The Local · 25 Jul 2009, 09:33

Published: 25 Jul 2009 09:33 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The festival, which runs until August 28, narrowly avoided disaster this year when a threatened strike by 140 stage technicians, represented by trade union Verdi, was avoided at the last minute by an agreement reached on Friday evening.

A new series entitled "Wagner for Kids" will also be introduced to the festival this year, with 10 performances of a specially adapted version of The Flying Dutchman made palatable for six-to-10 year-olds.

This year also sees a repeat of The Mastersingers of Nuremberg in Katharina Wagner's uproarious staging, which enters its third year. At its premiere in 2007, it was roundly booed by audiences and divided the critics. Last year the production became the first from Bayreuth to be broadcast over the internet and was also shown in a free public-viewing. It has since been released on DVD.

31-year-old Katharina, great-grand-daughter of the composer, has taken over the running of Bayreuth along with her much older half-sister Eva Wagner-Pasquier, 64. Their father, Wolfgang, who turns 90 in August and has ruled Bayreuth with an iron fist since 1951, stepped down in August 2008.

Tickets for the festival are notoriously hard to come by. Every year, the Bayreuth ticket office receives applications for eight or nine times the actual number of tickets on sale -- just under 60,000 for 30 performances of seven different Wagner operas.

Estimates suggest it can take up to 10 years to receive tickets. The application form must be completed and sent off as soon as the tickets go on sale in the autumn. Applicants who miss a year get sent back to the bottom of the list.

But the waiting list can be shorter depending on which operas are applied for and when. Applicants who insist on attending only the premieres of the new productions will wait the longest - press reports this year put the waiting period at 13 years.

Story continues below…

And those who want to see the complete "Ring" - Wagner's mammoth 16-hour four-opera cycle - the waiting list is also longer because tickets can only be bought for all of it, not piecemeal.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd