Mastodon Dark Clouds Over Bayreuth? - The Wagnerian

Dark Clouds Over Bayreuth?

Written By The Wagnerian on Monday 2 January 2012 | 12:46:00 pm

In a preview of the arts in 2012, Gudrun Stegen of Deutsche Welle highlights the difficulties that the Festival is facing this year - and perhaps in  2013.

And not waving but drowning.?
Tension on Bayreuth's Green Hill is nothing new - but trouble with the German Court of Auditors is. The festival has come under fire for its system of allocating tickets, with accusations that too many tickets are given to sponsors and celebrities.

The timing of the investigation is especially unpleasant because it comes just a year ahead of the 200th anniversary of composer Richard Wagner's birth. A revival of Wagner's "Ring" tetralogy is in the works, but has come up against a few hurdles. Well-known filmmaker Wim Wenders turned down the high-profile directing job, which was then given to Frank Castorf, the controversial director of the Berliner Volksbühne theater. Critics bemoan his complete lack of opera experience.

What's more, the Bayreuth Festival's main sponsor, Siemens, has pulled out, and it remains unclear whether the event will the open-air broadcasts will continue (sic).