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Bayreuth Festival 2021

DG Stage returns to Bayreuth this summer as the Festival’s global digital partner. A year ago, Deutsche Grammophon’s first-ever virtual Bayreuth Festival set benchmark standards for online music streaming and this year’s programme is even more ambitious, offering unprecedented access to one of the greatest of all musical experiences. Between 26 July and 24 August DG Stage will broadcast ten different productions – encompassing all of Wagner’s mature music-dramas from the festival stage – including the exclusive online premiere of this year’s new production of Der fliegende Holländer on July 27.

Thanks to our collaboration with the Bayreuth Festival and the Society of Friends of Bayreuth, we’re happy to provide all transmissions except the exclusive premiere of Der fliegende Holländer to all our registered users for free!

Please note that in Germany BR-Klassik covers the Bayreuth Festival 2021 as well. For more information please click here.


PREMIERE: Der fliegende Holländer

As part of its second virtual Bayreuth Festival, DG Stage is delighted to present the exclusive online broadcast of Dmitri Tcherniakov’s new staging of Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer. The Russian director is making his Bayreuth debut, as is Ukrainian conductor Oksana Lyniv, who will be the first woman to take to the podium in the Festival’s long history.

Premiered in Dresden in 1843, Wagner’s three-act opera tells the story of a mysterious Dutchman cursed to sail the oceans for eternity as punishment for having defied God. Allowed ashore once every seven years to find a wife who will love him faithfully, he docks in a Norwegian fjord and meets Daland, a sailor whose daughter Senta has always been strangely drawn to the legend of the Flying Dutchman. A tale of love, jealousy, sacrifice and redemption then unfolds, amid music rich in passion, drama and atmospheric colour.

July 27 – August 2, 2021.

Please note that this program is not available via DG Stage in Japan. Please check your public broadcaster.


Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

The high-point of the 2017 Bayreuth Festival: Barrie Kosky’s “astonishingly entertaining and convincing” (Der Spiegel) new Meistersinger is “a triumph” (Berliner Morgenpost): “a production of enormous insight and great quality … that plumbs the depths of both the opera and its composer” (Opera News). The “exquisite” cast (Die Zeit) is headed by Michael Volle’s “eloquent” Hans Sachs (New York Times). Philippe Jordan’s supple conducting is moulded around Kosky’s staging … and the Bayreuth orchestra and chorus are superb” (The Guardian).

July 26, 2021 & August 24, 2021


Der Ring des Nibelungen

Frank Castorf’s staging of the Ring, premiered in 2013 and filmed in 2016, provoked controversy right from the beginning. For Castorf, the Rheingold of our days is oil; thus he places the first part of the tetralogy at a gas station on Route 66. Die Walküre is situated in Baku, Azerbaijan, which was seized by the Bolsheviks in 1920 for its oil, whereas Siegfried takes place in a socialist equivalent of Mount Rushmore and at Berlin’s Alexanderplatz. Götterdämmerung is set somewhere in the GDR, ending up at New York’s stock exchange. Whilst Castorf’s staging polarized, Marek Janowski’s musical reading was unanimously praised, as was the excellent cast including Catherine Foster, John Lundgren, Nadine Weissmann and Georg Zeppenfeld.

Rheingold: July 30, 2021
Walküre: August 6, 2021
Siegfried: August 15, 2021
Götterdämmerung: August 21, 2021
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Lohengrin

From the 2018 Bayreuth Festival, the acclaimed new production by American director Yuval Sharon. The New York Times praised “the outstanding Piotr Beczala” as Lohengrin, “Anja Harteros [making] her impressive Bayreuth debut” as Elsa, and Ortrud “played with dominant presence by the incomparable Waltraud Meier”. The distinguished artists Neo Rauch and Rosa Loy created “breathtaking visuals”, and the whole performance was guided with “enthralling musicality” by conductor Christian Thielemann.

July 31, 2021


Tannhäuser

Tobias Kratzer’s “novel…wrenching” (New York Times) 2019 production of Tannhäuser as a wildly contemporaryparable of art and freedom – with Valery Gergiev making his long-awaited Bayreuth Festival debut – was greeted with a standing ovation and exceptional press acclaim. The young Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen makes her “astonishingly mature” (New York Times) Bayreuth debut as Elisabeth, American heldentenor Stephen Gould exhibits “great dramatic and vocal power in the title role” (Telegraph), and Russian mezzo Elena Zhidkova is the “scene stealing Venus”(Opera Today).

August 2, 2021 & August 23, 2021


Tristan und Isolde

Richard Wagner’s ultimate, immortal tale of love and longing staged by the composer’s great-granddaughter Katharina Wagner and conducted by Christian Thielemann with an elegance and precision that is probably unsurpassable today” (Der Spiegel). The sublime cast includes Evelyn Herlitzius as Isolde, Stephen Gould as Tristan and Georg Zeppenfeld as Marke.

August 9, 2021


Parsifal

Every new production of Parsifal in Bayreuth is a special event, as it was written specifically with the Bayreuth acoustic in mind. In summer 2016, director Uwe Eric Laufenberg presented his reading of Wagner’s Bühnenweihfestspiel, transposing it to a region bordering Iraq, Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan – in other words, to the very heart of today’s religious wars. The cast boasted Klaus Florian Vogt as a silvery yet clarion-toned Parsifal, the fabulous Elena Pankratova as Kundry, the “Rose from Hell”, rich-voiced Georg Zeppenfeld as Gurnemanz, Ryan McKinny with his burnished baritone as Amfortas and Gerd Grochowski in one of his last major roles as Klingsor. The New York Times was full of praise: “Sensitive, visually arresting … With an excellent cast and the conductor Hartmut Haenchen drawing radiant sound and striking transparency from the festival orchestra, this was a sublime and provocative Parsifal.”

August 10, 2021