What it will cost to save Bayreuth from demolition

What it will cost to save Bayreuth from demolition


norman lebrecht

January 17, 2012

There’s been a rather tense meeting on the Green Hill of the Society of the Friends of Bayreuth. They have just found out that the main festival house is disintegrating. ‘Unless something happens soon, the building will fall down,’ said Wolfgang Wagner before his death in 2010. You might have thought he would have noticed the decay while he was still in charge.

They need 25 million Euros for refurbishment. My guess is that the Bavarian government will provide most of it, but do watch out for official looking letters with RW’s head on the front and a would-you-be-so-kind line inside.

The Society has commissioned – wait for it – a masterplan. From Die Meisterplanners, no doubt.


  • Greg says:

    I love Wagners music, and your joke.

  • Philip says:

    Die Meisterplanners von Bayreuth: einen großen bürokratischenweihfestspiel.

  • Petros Linardos says:

    When did Wolfgang Wagner state that warning and when did that hit the news? He did almost two years ago (March 2012) and finally stepped down after the end of the 2008 festival.

  • Alexander Jones says:

    Something is not quite right here; Wolfgang Wagner died in 2010. Or is the quotation an old one?

  • Duncan Reed says:

    Er, time to cosy back up to all those Wagner societies perhaps, who only just before Christmas were stripped of their preferential rights to tickets… Good joined-up management!

    By the way, does anyone know if the Society of the Friends of Bayreuth is also to be stripped of its members’ rights to tickets? Arguably it is a different case from the Wagner societies as the Freunde actually fund part of the Festival – and now may be asked to fund the refurbishment…

  • Ummm… my last visit was in 1993 or so.. I’m sure Wolgang was already saying that for 10 years. :))