Discourse 2021

„Ring 20.21“

A multimedia project of the Bayreuth Festival, realized by BF Medien GmbH

Overall artistic direction: Prof. Katharina Wagner
Curator and program guide: Dr. Marie Luise Maintz

The Bayreuth Festival is preparing a special event with „Ring 20.21“: The performances of the „Walküre“ in the Festspielhaus, designed by the action artist Hermann Nitsch, will be framed by commissioned works in various artistic genres that mirror, comment on, continue or make it possible to experience all parts of the „Ring des Nibelungen“ in a new way. A musical theater for „Das Rheingold – Immer noch Loge“, which reveals a few surprises, opens in the Festspielpark with a composition by Gordon Kampe based on the libretto by Paulus Hochgatterer, staged and realized with puppets by Nikolaus Habjan. In a multimedia work by Jay Scheib, the audience can put themselves in the shoes of „Siegfried“ and fight the dragon. An installation on „Götterdämmerung“ by the Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota will conclude the cycle in the Festspielpark in a way that is as filigree as it is overwhelming and visionary.

„Ring 20.21“ –

29. 07. 2021, 03.08.2021 & 19.08.2021


Bayreuth Festival GmbH

Individual projects

Das Rheingold – Immer noch Loge

Opera by Nikolaus Habjan
after a libretto by Paulus Hochgatterer

Commissioned by the Bayreuth Festival
Commissioned by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation
Realized by BF Medien GmbH

The Bayreuth project „Ring 20.21“ is opened by the opera „Rheingold – Immer noch Loge“ by composer Gordon Kampe, based on a libretto by Paulus Hochgatterer.

On a green hill, immediately after the great fire of Valhalla: the survivors of the catastrophe, Erda and the Rhinemaidens, hold court over the arsonist Loge, who is imprisoned in a cage. In the smoking ruins, only nightmares and memories remain: „What is left when heroes and gods burn?“

In „Rheingold – Immer noch Loge“ it’s all about the whole thing: with a few surprises, the continuation of the story is told by Gordon Kampe and Paulus Hochgatterer, staged by Nikolaus Habjan and realized with puppets. The short opera with three vocal soloists, hinged-mouth puppets and an instrumental ensemble will be performed in a set by Julius Semmelmann on and in the „pond“ below the Festspielhaus.

Gordon Kampe tells about the composition: „On the one hand, the music follows the idea of a court trial: ritualized moments, sudden objections and arioso pleas characterize large parts of the action. On the other hand, there are always wild outbursts, driving pulses and false musical trails – out of the smoke of the aria can rise something that could almost be a naive folk song, followed by a dry song in which Loge laments the envy of the participants – and these chords here and there, whether they could have saved themselves from Wagner’s Rheingold? Who can be trusted in these nightmarish ruins? Certainly not the music.“

Composer and Conductor Gordon Kampe
Libretto Paulus Hochgatterer
Director Nikolaus Habjan
Stage Design and Costumes


Julius Semmelmann


Rheintochter 1 Daniela Köhler
Rheintochter 2 / Erda Stephanie Houtzeel
Rheintochter 3 / Loge


Günter Haumer


Puppeteer 1 Nikolaus Habjan
Puppeteer 2 Clara Rybaczek
Puppeteer 3


Stephan Q. Eberhard


Musicians of the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra
Das Rheingold

29. 07. 2021, 11:00 CEST

03. 08. 2021, 11:00 CEST

19. 08. 2021, 11:00 CEST


60 Minutes (without intermission)


Tickets for „Das Rheingold – Immer noch Loge“ are available at

Go to the ticket sale of „Das Rheingold – Immer noch Loge“


Die Walküre

The artist Hermann Nitsch will design the „Walküre“: „as an action artist, i have been invited to stage an actionist event during the musical course of all three acts of the walküre. i would like to realize a painting action. the poured and smeared colors of the entire rainbow spectrum used will try to compete with the colorfulness of wagner’s music in a positive sense. the painting actions are preliminary stages of my own orgies mysteries theater, which i have developed in prinzendorf. i am especially pleased when in the three acts luminous colors will run continuously from top to bottom. the painting actions should be like music. sounds become colors.“ (Hermann Nitsch)

Ten experienced Nitsch actors and supernumaries will be the performers for painting, actions and processions under the direction of the action artist, while the vocal soloists will stand at the edge of the stage as in an oratorio.

Idea, Concept, Artist


Hermann Nitsch


Painting assistants





Katharina Biber
Michaela Hetzel
Pia Kober
Leonhard Kopp
Dagmar Kunert
Erich Roth
Josef Smutný
Andreas Stasta
Federico Vecchi
Judith Weissenböck
Supernumaries of the Bayreuth Festival
Die Walküre

29. 07. 2021, 16:00 CEST

03. 08. 2021, 16:00 CEST

19. 08. 2021, 16:00 CEST

Be Siegfried

A snapshot from Richard Wagner’s „Siegfried“ becomes an experience in a virtual world: Jay Scheib, director and professor at the legendary research institute MIT in Massachusetts, transforms the Festspielhaus into an experience space of a special kind. The dragon fight as an interactive work of art takes place in augmented reality, „virtual reality“.

Jay Scheib uses new technologies to further develop the art of illusions, of artificial spaces in which the viewer’s imagination can experience the stories being told. Richard Wagner’s mythic narrative in the Ring of the Nibelung invites this. „Wagner invented the invisible orchestra, now we take up his vision of the invisible theater. We see working with the technology of so-called ‚extended‘, ‚virtual‘ or ‚augmented reality‘ as a continuation of Wagner’s mission to enable the complete stage illusion“, says Jay Scheib. The audience can experience the virtual scene through VR goggles. In the animation, the audience enters the Festival Hall, where a battle with the dragon awaits…

Director Jay Scheib
Visual Design


Joshua Higgason


3D-Modelling of the Festspielhaus Ryan Metcalfe mit Team von Preevue (London)
LiDAR scanning of the Festspielhaus


LoooM (Berlin)


Project administration Markus Latsch

A maximum of six visitors can experience the dragon fight live and accompanied by appropriate music at the same time with VR glasses. The spectators and the six output counters of the glasses will be placed on the Wolfgang-Wagner-Platz in front of the „Königsbau“. The dragon fight is designed for a total length of about 3 minutes. „Be Siegfried“ is a cooperation with „NightLight Labs“ (Los Angeles).


29.07. 2021, 03.08. 2021, 19.08. 2021, during the 1st and 2nd intermission as well as until one hour after the end of the performance.


3 Minutes


For the virtual dragon fight „Be Siegfried“ as part of the discourse „Ring 20.21“, a prior registration is required. We kindly ask you to register at siegfried@bayreuther-festspiele.de until one day before the performance, so on July 28th, August 2nd and August 18th until 12:00 pm. Please indicate the desired date of the performance, your name, first name and the corresponding invoice number of your Walküre-ticket. We will then assign you a time slot and notify you via email. The virtual dragon fight will take place in the Wolfgang-Wagner-Platz during the first and second intermission from 5 minutes after the beginning of the intermission and until 20 minutes before the end of the intermission and one hour after the end of the performance. We wish you a lot of fun!

Götterdämmerung – The Thread of Fate

The installation „The Thread of Fate“ by Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota, inspired by „Götterdämmerung“, will be on display in the open space in the Festival Park, to the left of the Festival Hill driveway. The installation will be freely accessible to all interested parties from 29th of July until the end of the 2021 Bayreuth Festival on 25th of August.

Götterdämmerung, the final chapter of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, begins with the three Norns spinning the thread of fate. I wonder… Is the fate of Siegfried and Brünnhilde unchangeable? Or is the world hopeless? The Norns represent the past, present and future and weave their time into the rope of fate. I also see my work in this scene. It is the same with my thread installations. I want to connect the past of the space with the present and create something new for the future that people will remember through the thread. I believe that objects and the space that surrounds us accumulate our existence. When you stand in a space, you feel the existence of the people who spend time in that space. The red sculpture embodies the accumulation of relationships to each other. These connections expand in time and space, while the simplicity of the ring symbolizes unity, infinity and eternity.“ (Chiharu Shiota)

Götterdämmerung – The Thread of Fate

29th of July – 25th of August