Posted June 12, 2012

Oh Cosi, we hardly knew ye!

June 12, 2012

Gwyneth Jones in “Wagnerin – Ein Haus der Kunstmusik”

An evening without gods or heroes, for Cosima, Winifred, Gudrun and Katharina Wagner, many blue-clad maidens, a male choir and the festival orchestra’s left-over trombones *Wagnerin. Ein Haus der Kunstmusik* with Dame Gwyneth Jones in Sven Holm’s production.

The premiere is on 24 June 2012. In this production, Holm puts forward the fates of female characters in the Ring as a contrast to female succession strategies in the Wagner dynasty and in a surreal manner gathers Cosima, Winifred, Gudrun and Katharina Wagner in a future Wahnfried threatened with destruction.

“Since Wagner’s work also always reflects current events and the family’s own history, this attempt to shed light on the role and actions of women in the Wagner dynasty is particularly interesting. The myth is updated into the present and the parallels of power, fate and mutual dependence come to light in this project. It is, of course, precisely in Bayreuth’s present circumstances that this theme has a particular charm”, according to Nikolaus Bachler, general manager of the Bavarian State Opera.

Producer Sven Holm explains his approach as follows: “It has always been the strong women who reigned in Bayreuth and who to some extent battled each other to inherit the Bayreuth Festival. Our project deals with the absurdity that Wagner basically anticipated the conflicts of his own descendants in the Ring, but only did so in the male world of the struggle for gold. For that reason, we want to gather several generations of Wagner women together in Munich, subject them to an analysis and free them from their curse.”

Dame Gwyneth Jones, will star in the role of Cosima Wagner sing, among other things, fragments from the Ring. Also on stage will be the singers Hanna Dóra Sturludottir (Katharina Wagner) and Ceri Williams (Gudrun Wagner) together with the actress Renate Jett (Winifred Wagner) and members of the Bavarian State Opera ensemble.


doctored photo of Dame Gwyneth courtesy of Bayerische Staatsoper