The Playgoer: Bayreuth Blog

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Monday, August 07, 2006

Bayreuth Blog

Die Walküre, at Beyreuth
Anthony Tommasini has been doing some great arts blogging from the summer music festivals of Europe. Bravo to the Times for enabling it.

I particularly recommend his dispatches from Bayreuth, the house that Wagner built. Beyond opera, the Bayreuth Festspielhaus is one of the most important spaces in theatre history, with its aspirations to Greek civics and democratic seating, and a watershed in stage illusionism. (One of the first theatres to lower the houselights, for instance.) And also, of course, for its inistituitional relations to German nationalism, mythmaking, and Nazi propaganda.

Tommasini covers it all. Including the politics of getting tickets (multi-year waitlists) and how Wagner's visionary gesamtkunstwerk designs led to an orchestra pit from hell.

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