German Union DGB, criticizes Bayreuth's ticket prices - after they lose their annual closed performances.

Written By The Wagnerian on Friday, 23 December 2011 | 5:32:00 pm

I wasn't going to report this, instead I was going to leave it till I compiled an article on all of Bayreuth's new changes to ticket allocations. However, I came across a prominent  English language source that recently seemed to misrepresent what had taken place and thought it worth clarifying - or at least as well as my operatic German will allow.

Up until 2009 there were two so called "closed" performance at Bayreuth were tickets were allocated to  members of the German workers union DGB,  at heavily discounted prices. In 2009 this was dropped from two days to one. However, Bayreuth has now announced the end of  this remaining day and thus the end of  any discounted tickets to members of the DGB.

Toni Schmid, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Festival, has stated that this is a result of criticisms made against the Festival regarding ticket allocation, following an investigation by the Bundesrechnungshof, the federal audit office (see my report on this here). She went onto to say that as a result of this Bayreuth must make more tickets available to the general public.

Unsurprisingly DGB, Chair Matthias Jena, has responded negatively to the announcement stating that the festival management is turning its back on its founders principles. Wagner, he said, intended the festival to be for the people not for the rich.

More as things develop.