Gramophone’s First Look at the Bayreuth Ring


My report on attending last week’s final dress rehearsal is now online at 

Forget Verdi, Britten and The Rite of Spring. In Germany, 2013 is above and beyond all else the Wagnerjahr. Germany’s most influential and controversial composer has been honoured for his 200th birthday with new scholarly books, magazine cover stories, postage stamps and, naturally, the hundreds of productions of his 13 operas, including his rarely-seen early works, that have been whirring about the opera firmament like so many Valkyries since the beginning of the season.

The most hotly awaited of these is the new production of Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Bayreuther Fespiele, the month-long summertime festival that the composer founded in order to perform his monumental quadrilogy and has served as a site of pilgrimage for Wagnerians since 1876. Frank Castorf, theRegietheater enfant terrible who is artistic director of Berlin’s Volksbühne, is in change of the cycle, which he has had to put together in somewhat record time… CONTINUE READING AT GRAMOPHONE.


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