Forty years after reporting on my first visit to Bayreuth, the city in the time of Covid is, in many respects, eerie. Familiar shops and restaurants have gone out of business from the cancellation of last year’s Festival, and the reduction of this year’s visitors by half meant an unsettling lack of queues. From the yellowing paper in the window of the closed wine store Süsse Quelle on the...
While in Bayreuth this past August I paid my first visit in five years to Wahnfried, and was delighted to find that it had not been eviscerated, which the construction site a few years ago seemed to presage. I miss the chairs, the piped-music and the tranquility of the great room that I first entered […]
Last month, browsing the book stalls located outside the BFI under the Waterloo Bridge on London’s South Bank, I found a volume I had never seen before – The Ring: Anatomy of an Opera, by Stephen Fay and Roger Wood. Fay chronicles the preparation of the 1983 Bayreuth Ring production, directed by Peter Hall, conducted […]
Barry Kosky’s new production of Die Meistersinger at Bayreuth is a polemic, suggesting that, in creating the role of Sixtus Beckmesser, Wagner intended to warn his audiences to reject the harmful influence of Jews on the integrity of German art. Kosky asks further whether, in feeding this pernicious strain of German anti-Semitism, Wagner, along with […]
A useful and robust, if perhaps not mainstream, group of review of the Bayreuth season’s offerings is available at and well worth a visit.