The Bayreuth Festival is a music festival held annually in Bayreuth, Germany, at which performances of operas by the 19th century German composer Richard Wagner are presented. Wagner himself conceived of and promoted the idea of a special festival to showcase his own works, in particular his monumental cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen and Parsifal.
Performances take place in a specially designed theatre, the Festspielhaus. Wagner personally supervised the design and construction of the theatre, which contained many architectural innovations to accommodate the huge orchestras for which Wagner wrote as well as the composer's particular vision about the staging of his works. (For more information on the design and construction of the opera house, see the article Bayreuth Festspielhaus.)
The Festival has become a pilgrimage destination for Wagner enthusiasts, who often must wait years to obtain tickets.
Since its opening in 1876, the Bayreuth Festival has been a socio-cultural phenomenon. The inauguration took place on August 13, 1876, with a performance of Das Rheingold. Present at this unique musical event were Kaiser Wilhelm, Dom Pedro II of Brazil, King Ludwig (who attended in secret, probably to avoid the Kaiser), and other members of the nobility, as well as the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, and such accomplished composers as Anton Bruckner, Edvard Grieg, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, and Franz Liszt.
Artistically, the festival was a success. ("Something has taken place at Bayreuth which our grandchildren and their children will still remember", wrote Tchaikovsky, attending the Festival as a Russian correspondent.) Financially, however, the festival was a disaster and did not begin to make money until several years later. Wagner abandoned his original plan to hold a second festival the following year, and travelled to London to conduct a series of concerts in an attempt to make up the deficit. Although the festival was plagued by financial problems in its early years, it survived through state intervention and the continued support of influential Wagnerians, including King Ludwig II of Bavaria.
From its inception, the festival has attracted leading conductors and singers, many of whom performed without pay. Among these was Hans Richter, who conducted the premiere of the Ring Cycle in 1876. Another was the talented conductor Hermann Levi, who was personally chosen by Richard Wagner to conduct the debut of Parsifal in 1882 with the assistance of the young Engelbert Humperdinck.
Following Wagner's death, his widow Cosima continued running the festival at one or, more frequently, two year intervals. She gradually introduced the remaining operas which complete the Bayreuth canon of Wagner's last ten completed operas. Levi, the son of a Jewish rabbi, remained the festival's principal conductor for the next two decades. Felix Mottl, who was involved with the festival from 1876 to 1901, conducted Tristan und Isolde there in 1886. Until the 1920s, performances were strictly in accordance with the traditions established under King Ludwig's patronage. Not a note was "cut" from any of the enormous scores; no concessions were made to the limits of human patience on the part of the audiences. Cosima Wagner preserved the productions of Parsifal and Der Ring des Nibelungen just as they had been in Wagner's day, defending any proposed changes with appeals to her son Siegfried: "Was this not how Papa did it in 1876?"
After Cosima's retirement in 1906, Siegfried Wagner took over management of the festival, introducing new staging and performance styles. His early death in 1930 left the Festival in the hands of his English-born wife Winifred Wagner, with Heinz Tietjen as artistic director.
Der fliegende Hollander
Солисты, дирижеры и хормейстеры подписаны в трэках.
Bayreuth Festival Orchestra and Chorus