Castorf on Ring: “I’m glad that German fascism didn’t come up”

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According to a short report just published by the  German newswire DPA, Frank Castorf, the Ring King of this year’s Bayreuth Festival, doesn’t set out to create a production that addresses Vergangenheitsbewältigung, the cumbersome German word for coming to terms with the Nazi past. Unlike other recent Regie directors who have boldly reinterpreted Wagner for the present day, a list that includes Stefan Herheim, Sebastian Baumgarten and Philip Stölzl, Castorf is “glad that German fascism didn’t come up” while putting together the cycle. He apparently dominated this morning’s press conference at Bayreuth, while the festival leaders Katharina Wagner and her half-sister Eva Wagner-Pasquier ceded the floor to him. That said, he doesn’t seem to have said all that much except for praising the “striking modernity” of Wagner’s composition. He also was quoted as saying that he was interested to see the reaction to a production that was full of “citations that pop up like shooting stars,” a cryptic remark that, to my mind at least, seems to imply that whatever Castorf has in store for us, we should not expect too much logical consistency.  

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