Bayreuth and Wagner Essay by Peter Pen

Bayreuth and Wagner
A look at the staging of Wagner's operas in the German town of Bayreuth.
# 46045 | 862 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2004
Published on Dec 09, 2003 in Architecture (European) , Music Studies (Classical and Baroque)


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Description:

This paper examines how Bayreuth, a small town in Bavaria, Germany, is the site of the dream of one of the Romantic period's greatest composers, Richard Wagner. In particular, it focuses on "Der Ring des Nibelungen", or Ring Cycle, his opera of massive proportions, which required much more than the average opera, an opera house which was built specifically for its performance in Bayreuth. It shows how the building of the Festival House in Bayreuth was both one of Wagner's greatest achievements and a factor in one of his greatest losses and how, after his death, Wagner's widow, Cosima, carried on his wishes to have each of his latter operas performed in Bayreuth. It discusses how the festivals suffered slightly because of her strict adherence to the old ideas and how, because of this, the performers were based less on talent than on their willingness to follow her instructions.

From the Paper:

"Wagner had very specific desires on what type of town would hold his opera house. He wanted "one of the less large towns in Germany, favorably sited and capable of accommodating an unusual number of guests, and in particular a town in which there would be no danger of clashing with a large existing theater." (Wagner, iv) He did not want the actual house to be of any extravagance either; he thought to make it only of wood, only desiring to make the place large enough to properly perform his cycle. Wagner chose Bayreuth not only because it fit his description but also because it was close to his patron (King Ludwig II of Bavaria) and because certain town authorities were eager to assist Wagner."

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