Friday, July 29, 2016

Hillary Clinton at the DNC Last Night

She came out dressed in white: a knight in shining armor ready for the fight ahead. America's own female Lohengrin. A Wagnerian sight if ever there was one!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Parsifal on BR Klassik

 I'm not sure how long it's going to be up there, but you can stream Monday's Parsifal performance from the stage of the Bayreuth Festspielhaus by going to BR Klassik. This performance marks the beginning of the annual Bayreuth Festival which will run until the end of August. The new production by Uwe Eric Laufenberg is a mixture of classical staging and Eurotrash, with Islamic elements thrown in for good measure. It's a hodgepodge that although does not live up to the beauty and intelligence of the Stefan Herheim production it replaced, manages to leave a lasting impression. The picture above should speak a thousand words where this concept is at, although do go ahead and watch the performance.  There is some fine singing from Georg Zeppenfeld (Gurnemanz), Klaus Florian Vogt (Parsifal), and Houston Grand Opera Studio alumnus Ryan McKinny, who makes a fine Bayreuth debut as Amfortas. The orchestra is under the direction of Harmut Haenchen who at the last minute took over from Andris Nelsons who left the production citing artistic differences.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Following Terror Attacks Security Tightens at Bayreuth

 Mere days before the start of the Bayreuth Festival, Germany is on edge after five people were injured in an axe attack in a Bavarian train in Wuerzburg, an event claimed by the Islamic State, and the Munich rampage where nine people were gunned down by an 18 year old German Iranian who then took his own life.

The festival begins on Monday with a new production of Parsifal, and new security measures have been implemented at the Green Hill this year thus robbing the event of the summer carefree idyll setting that it has had for 140 years.

Katharina Wagner sent the following letter to all Bayreuth ticket holders:

Dear Sir/Madam, Dear Festival-goers,

Due to the overall increased threat level, the 2016 Bayreuth Festival is increasing its security.  We would like to inform you of several important aspects as follows:

As advanced security measures by the police cannot be ruled out, please plan to arrive at the Festspielhaus a little earlier than usual.  We recommend arriving about 45 minutes before the performance.
  • Please carry a valid government-issued ID, so you can be identified
  • For safety reasons, it is prohibited to take the following into the Festspielhaus:
    • Bulky items, in particular bags and backpacks of any kind, except for evening handbags
    • sharp or pointed objects as well as any other objects that are hazardous or can be used as a weapon
    • cushions
    • drink bottles and other liquid containers
Please note that there are no storage facilities for them inside the Festspielhaus
  • There is a different route for directions by car to the Festspielhaus.  Exiting is as usual.
  • Please note that direct access from the parking lots to the Festspielhaus is only possible via one route.
We hope that you will understand these rules.  All visitors cooperating as best as possible can significantly help to avoid problems and inconvenience to a large extent.

If you are unable to use your tickets yourself, we respectfully request you provide the users of the tickets with this information.

Thank you for your understanding and we wish you a pleasant and fulfilling visit.