Bayreuth 2013 and in the Future by Jim Pritchard

August 8, 2012


On the eve of the opening of the 2012 Bayreuth Festival – the 101st – with the première of Jan Philipp Gloger’s new Der fliegende Holländer production conducted by Christian Thielemann, festival directors Katharina Wagner and Eva Wagner-Pasquier were centre-stage for the annual press conference. Most will know by now that this year’s Festival opened with Samuel Youn replacing Evgeny Nitikin as the Dutchman possibly because of the youthful folly of inappropriate tattoos or maybe for other reasons – we will probably never know.

Reports from the press conference suggest there were a number of important announcements: Firstly, on 1 August rehearsals will begin for Frank Castorf’s new Ring Cycle for 2013 that Kirill Petrenko is conducting. In 2013 Ricarda Merbeth will sing Senta and in 2014 there will be no new production. For 2015 Tristan und Isolde will be directed by Katharina Wagner and conducted by Christian Thielemann. Sets will be by Frank Schloessmann and costumes by Matthias Lippert. Stephen Gould will sing Tristan with Eva Maria Westbroek as Isolde with Georg Zeppenfeld (King Marke) and Iain Paterson (Kurwenal). In 2016 there will be a new Parsifal with direction, set design and costumes by Jonathan Meese and in the leading roles will be Klaus Florian Vogt, Petra Lang and Georg Zeppenfeld with Andris Nelsons conducting. The current productions of Tristan and Parsifal receive their final performances in 2012. There will be a new Die Meistersinger in 2017, a new Lohengrin in 2018, a new Tannhäuser in 2019 and the next new Ring in 2020. Although the Wagner sisters’ current contracts expire in 2015 apparently they have been asked to plan for the long term because sometimes the singers needed would be booked until 2018 or even longer.

In more revelations about the 2013 Ring it has been confirmed that Wolfgang Koch will sing his first Wotan and Wanderer and a British soprano virtually unknown in the UK, Catherine Foster, will sing all three Brünnhildes in her Bayreuth debut. Martin Winkler, Burkhard Ulrich and Claudia Mahnke will sing the roles of Alberich, Mime and Fricka. Siegmund and Sieglinde are Johan Botha and Anja Kampe with Franz-Josef Selig as Hunding. Siegfried had already been announced as Lance Ryan and Nadine Weissmann will sing Erda, Attila Yun as Hagen and Iain Paterson as Gunther.

In 2013 there will be a collaboration with the Leipzig Opera and in Bayreuth there will be the performances of Wagner’s early operas that are not normally performed at the Festival. On 22 May 2013 there will be a concert for Richard Wagner’s 200th birthday and then a birthday party during which Klaus Florian Vogt will sing the birthday song. This will be part of an extensive programme of events including master classes in singing with Petra Lang and Markus Eiche (further details below). Tickets for these events are now available (visit ).

This year on 11 August 2012 Parsifal in the current production by Stefan Herheim will be shown on television and in cinemas worldwide. The opening of the 2013 Bayreuth Festival with Der fliegende Holländer on 25 July 2013 will be broadcast live on television and in many cinemas once again. In 2013 a single Das Rheingold will be performed exclusively via the Internet, and will be available to order on a first-come-first-served basis.

Other news: this year once again there was a children’s opera, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and in September 2012 the Bayreuth Festival will make a guest appearance at the Teatro Liceu in Barcelona with Lohengrin, Tristan und Isolde and Der fliegende Holländer being performed in concert versions ( A major renovation of the Festspielhaus is planned to start in 2020. It was also announced that the entire ticketing system has been overhauled and in 2013 the press tickets quota would be reduced so 67% of the total possible capacity should be available in the open sale, much more than before.

For details about the Bayreuth Festival visit .


In Wagner Year 2013, what could seem more crucial and obvious than providing artistic hopefuls with the necessary support, so often missing? Whatever one may think of the much debated problem of Wagner singing today, there can be little doubt that promising voices in this field require sensitivity and attention, as well as the necessary time, to develop a well-founded and mature interpretation of Wagner. Two Singing Master Classes will be making their contribution here in Wagner Year 2013.

Supported and accompanied by répétiteurs with many years of experience, two acknowledged celebrities in their field, currently much sought-after and celebrated as Wagner singers on all the world’s renowned stages and with experience of singing at Bayreuth, will pass on their knowledge at first hand. As the instructors for one master class, we are pleased to welcome Petra Lang and Adrian Baianu to Bayreuth, directing the second class will be Markus Eiche. Articulation, intonation and singing techniques will be discussed and coached in individual and group lessons, while time will also be devoted to approaches to developing a character’s dramatic portrayal.

Markus Eiche’s course is for graduates from colleges and conservatoires who are not older than 30 years old, for the Petra Lang and Adrian Baianu Master Class there is no age limit. This is aimed at young singers with professional experience. Participating in the classes is free of charge for the singers selected. To apply, submit a CV, references and a sample of your voice, taken solely from Richard Wagner’s operas. The Master Classes will be held from 13 to 15 August 2013. They conclude with a joint public concert of both Master Classes on 16 August 2013 in the Balkonsaal of the Bayreuth City Hall. Closing date for application forms is 23 November 2012.

For an application form and details of the repertoire choice for the Petra Lang and Adrian Baianu Master Class visit


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