Posted July 06, 2020

Posted July 6, 2020


This communication comes directly from Andrea Buchanan who is the Richard Wagner Verband International 4th Vice President (and represents the Wagner Society of Northern California). Please note that this listing includes audio broadcasts, satellite streams and internet streams, some of these might not be accessable in the US.

BAYREUTH/MUNICH: Nearly all summer festivals have to take a break against the background of the Corona virus pandemic – including the Bayreuth Festival. For all Wagner fans, the Bayreuth Festival, together with BR-Klassik and 3sat, will be staging Wagner’s works as a Gesamtkunstwerk from 25 July – the original opening day of the Bayreuth Festival. With Corona-compatible live events, exclusive archive treasures and special broadcasts, Germany’s oldest music festival will be adequately celebrated this summer of culture, according to a press release by Bavarian Radio.

Holger von Berg and Heinz-Dieter Sense (management of the Bayreuth Festival GmbH): “The Bayreuth Festival is looking forward to a – now at least – virtual festival season 2020, which could be launched for this summer in cooperation with the Bayerischer Rundfunk. Productions that have set standards over the past decades will be presented to the interested audience audiovisually and via stream. The continuous and excellent cooperation with the Bayerischer Rundfunk since the Bayreuth Festival was re-established in 1951 makes it possible this year to provide a significantly different, but no less exciting programme. We are all looking forward to a varied, virtual festival time with BR, 3sat and the ARD Radio Festival in the period July 25 – August 7, 2020”.
One highlight of the programme: three historically significant productions of the “Ring of the Nibelung” on different play-out routes. These are the Ring productions by Frank Castorf (premiere 2013), Harry Kupfer (premiere 1988) and Patrice Chéreau (premiere 1976). For the first time the audience will be able to compare the epochal productions in their different scenic and musical interpretations. A list with an overview of the entire programme can be found below.
Reinhard Scolik (Bayerischer Rundfunk, Head of Programme Directorate Culture): “The Bayerischer Rundfunk is a partner of the Bayreuth Festival, in good times as well as in Corona times. We cannot replace a ‘Live-Bayreuth’, but we are pleased that we can offer Wagner fans many highlights on television, radio and online together with 3sat and ARD-alpha. A July without Bayreuth and Wagner would simply not be a good summer.”
BR-Klassik will be on the radio from July 25 to 28, daily at 6:05 p.m. exclusively with the previously unreleased recording of the highly praised and intensively discussed ring production by Frank Castorf and Kirill Petrenko at the console (recording from 2015), which will also be part of this year’s ARD Radio Festival (starting July 18). The four “Radio Walks through the Ring” already deal with the plot, characters and music of the Ring cycle at 1.05 pm.
ARD-alpha and the streaming offer “BR-Klassik Concert” will present the century ring by Patrice Chéreau and Pierre Boulez together with the Bayreuth Festival. For the first time since the 1980 performance was celebrated with more than an hour of applause, this production can be seen again on free TV on August 7 from 8:15 pm during the big “Ring Night”. BR-Klassik presenter Maximilian Maier will lead through the evening.
Thank you to Andrea Buchanan and also to Ako Imamura (WSNC member) for compiling this list.
The Bayreuth Festival in 3sat
3sat celebrates the Bayreuth Festival with the “Ring of the Nibelung” in a production by Harry Kupfer. At the podium is Daniel Barenboim, who has had a decisive influence on the Bayreuth Festival for 18 years. With the “Rheingold”, the eve of the Ring tetralogy, followed by a documentary about the singer Günther Groissböck, the television evening on 25 July from 8.15 p.m. will be under the sign of Wotan. The other parts of this Ring by Harry Kupfer will be shown in the media library of 3sat, on and on the website of the Bayreuth Festival.
Andreas Bönte, Managing Director of ARD Koordination 3sat at BR: “Since 2014, the ARD has brought the premiere of the Bayreuth Festival into the 3sat festival summer every year. Together with the 3sat partners ZDF, ORF and SRF, we are pleased that the viewers of the culture channel 3sat will not have to miss Bayreuth this year either. 3sat is thus part of a trimedial cultural project that stands for the close cooperation of the public broadcasters with each other and with culture.
Live on the green hill
Despite the difficult circumstances caused by Corona, the city of Bayreuth and the Bayreuth Festival will be holding a concert on 25 July to mark the opening of the festival. Music director Christian Thielemann and members of the Festival Orchestra will perform works by Wagner with the Bayreuth singing stars Camilla Nylund and Klaus Florian Vogt. BR-Klassik will broadcast the concert live on the radio from 4 pm (CET).
This summer, the video work “The Loop of the Nibelung” by Simon Steen-Andersen provides insights into the Festspielhaus. The Danish composer and performance artist, who has received many awards, will embark on an audiovisual exploration of the mythical Bayreuth Festspielhaus and the work of Wagner with singers and musicians from the Festspielorchester. The video work can be experienced from 28 July onwards in the streaming offer BR-Klassik Concert and on the festival website.

In “Hier gilt’s der Kunst”, Daniel Barenboim, Barrie Kosky, András Schiff, Martina Gedeck and Thea Dorn, among others, devote themselves to the theme “Wagner, Music and Politics” in a series of talks from the Pierre Boulez Hall in Berlin. The talks of the series “Diskurs Bayreuth” will be published on BR-Klassik Concert from August 7th.  
Archive Pearls and Video Extras
BR-Klassik will also broadcast two special archive treasures on the radio: André Cluyten’s “Lohengrin” from 1958 on 29 July at 6.05 pm and “Tristan und Isolde” conducted by Herbert von Karajan from 1952 on 30 July at 6.05 pm.
The interpretation comparison offers listeners an exciting and compact insight into a selection of interpretations of the “Flying Dutchman” on 31 July at 6.05 pm.
On the websites of BR-Klassik and the Bayreuth Festival, exciting video formats such as the “Opera Crash Course Wagner”, the “klassik shorts”, the “Ring Profiles” and the “Wagner ABC” invite you to learn more about the power of Wagner’s music and immerse yourself in the mythical worlds of the “Ring”.
The programme at a glance
13.7. – 14.8.20 (Monday to Friday in “Leporello”)
5:40 pm: “The Wagner ABC”
Saturday, 25.7.20
13.05 hrs: “Walk through the Ring” (I)
16.00: Live from Bayreuth: “Opening concert”
18.05: “The Rhine Gold” (Castorf/ Petrenko 2015)
Sunday, 26.7.20
13.05 hrs: “Walk through the Ring” (II)
18.05: “The Valkyrie” (Castorf/ Petrenko 2015)
Monday, 27.7.20
13.05 hrs: “Walk through the Ring” (III)
18.05 hours: “Siegfried” (Castorf/ Petrenko)
Tuesday, 28.7.20
13.05 hrs: “Walk through the ring” (IV)
18.05: “Twilight of the gods” (Castorf/Petrenko 2015)
Wednesday, 29.7.20
18.05: “Lohengrin” (Cluytens 1958)
Thursday, 30.7.20
18.05: “Tristan and Isolde” (Karajan 1952)
Friday, 31.7.20
18.05: Interpretations in comparison “The Flying Dutchman
from Friday, 7.8.20
Bayreuth Discourse: “Here it’s all about art”
Online at and BR-KLASSIK Facebook
1. – 26.7.20
The Wagner ABC
21. – 24.7.20
klassik shorts: The official Wagner relay team
21. – 24.7.20
Opera crash course Wagner: “The Ring of the Nibelung” as comic video in 4 parts
21. – 24.7.20
Opera profile: Ten facts and curiosities about “The Ring of the Nibelung”
ex 28.7.20
The Loop of the Nibelung: video performance by Simon Steen-Andersen as part of “Diskurs Bayreuth
3sat TV
Saturday, 25.7.20
20.15: “The Rhine Gold” (Kupfer/Barenboim)
23.00: “Wotan must wait – The documentary about Günther Groissböck”
Online in the media library
from Saturday, 25.7.20
“Das Rheingold” (Kupfer/Barenboim)
from Sunday, 26.7.20
“The Valkyrie” (Kupfer/Barenboim)
from Monday 27.7.20
“Siegfried” (Kupfer/Barenboim)
from Tuesday, 28.7.20
“Twilight of the gods” (Kupfer/Barenboim)
(A recording of the Unitel)
The big “ring night” on ARD-alpha and
Friday, 7.8.20
20.15 – 20.45: Introduction to the Chereau-Ring
20.45 – 23.15: “The Rhine Gold”
23.15- 02.55: “The Valkyrie”
02:55 – 06:45: “Siegfried”
06:45-11:00: “Twilight of the gods”
Thank you Andrea for keeping the Wagner Society of Northern California informed about this wide selection of Wagner operas being broadcast