Looking back and looking forward

A performance of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg will bring the 99th Bayreuth Festival to a close on 28th August 2010 after 30 sold out performances. It opened with the new production of Lohengrin by Hans Neuenfels which attracted considerable attention and gave rise to passionate debate. The musical direction lay in the hands of Andris Nelsons, who conducted the Festival Orchestra for the first time with great success.

Der Ring des Nibelungen conducted by Christian Thielemann and directed by Tankred Dorst was included in the repertoire for the fifth and final time. Particularly notable were the successful Bayreuth debuts of Jonas Kaufmann as Lohengrin, Annette Dasch as Elsa, Georg Zeppenfeld as King Heinrich, of James Rutherford as Hans Sachs, of Edith Haller as Sieglinde, Johan Botha as Siegmund and Lance Ryan as Siegfried. The final performance of Die Walküre was not only shown in the Festspielhaus – it could also be experienced in public viewing as part of the third Siemens Festspielnacht and through live streaming on the internet. It is planned to release the recording on DVD and Blu-ray later this year. The production of Tannhäuser as part of the project Wagner for Children was able to build on the success of the previous year’s children’s opera and establish this strand of programming within the festival. An international academic symposium, organized jointly by the Free University Berlin and the Bayreuth Festival attracted wide interest once again. The first Bayreuth Festival Dialogues were held under the title ‘Caesurae’. Advance booking for the 100th Bayreuth Festival 2011 begins on 18th October 2010. Ticket prices will remain stable. The next festival will open on 25th July 2011 with a new production of Tannhäuser (conductor: Thomas Hengelbrock; director: Sebastian Baumgarten; stage design: Joop van Lieshout; costumes: Nina von Mechow). The programme will also include revivals of Lohengrin, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Parsifal and Tristan und Isolde. Christian Thielemann, who has now joined the Bayreuth Festival as Musical Advisor, will return to the platform of the Festival Orchestra in the summer of 2012 to conduct Der fliegende Holländer.

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