Breaking: Angela Merkel gives Bayreuth a miss

Breaking: Angela Merkel gives Bayreuth a miss


norman lebrecht

July 11, 2014

The Chancellor will not be attending the opening night of this year’s festival.

A red-carpet fixture in years past, her office has given ‘scheduling clashes’ as the reason for her absence and promised, somewhat vaguely, that she may turn up later in the summer.


merkel bayreuth2


Could be that Angie’s had her fill of tomato bloodbaths, naked virgins, a chorus dressed as rats and other reconfigured charms of the Bayreuth stage.

Desperately covering for Frau Merkel’s absence, Bayreuth has swiftly announced the attendance on opening night of the Bavarian prime minister Horst Seehofer ‘and his entire cabinet’.

Big deal.

Where’s George Clooney when you really need him?


  • Musiker says:

    “Breaking”. That’s a good one. This was widely reported four days ago. And also widely discussed on Twitter.
    Still, not quite as late as the story about the live cinema transmission this year of Tannhäuser.

  • Robert Garbolinski says:

    Wish they would give me a free ticket I can’t afford to go there so will have t save up and go on the open day one year. I would definitely appreciate it more than them. Just wish they would do some decent productions!

    • Stephen Harding says:

      I’ll have her ticket!

    • John Borstlap says:

      The problem of Bayreuth nowadays is that they have to give their theatre a profile different (better) than the average opera houses that produce Wagner, and where ‘Regietheater’ is still considered ‘cutting edge’ they have to do it more ‘cutting’ than elsewhere. Inevitably you end-up with naked rats, bloody virgins etc. etc.

  • John Borstlap says:

    There is this story that Mrs Merkel was a bit dissappointed when, at the former time she visited the theatre, sitting in the front row, a bit of smelly dirt fell from the stage on her dress and in her cleavage upon which she has been heard to whisper: ‘It’s become like the Bundestag here’.

  • Hugh Canning says:

    Sitting in the front row? Whenever I’ve been at the opening night, she has always been in the Wagner family box on the upper level. I suppose that’s the front row of the boxes. Anyway, there’s no new production this year, so I won’t be going either. Maybe for Katharina’s new Tristan & Isolde with Gould and Westbroek next year. I can’t imagine Frau Merkel wanting to miss that.

  • screen name says:

    I’ve sat directly behind her (and next to the security man with the squiggly wire to one ear) and the seats were perfectly placed in the Parkett (Türe III if I remember correctly).

    • Hugh Canning says:

      Well, I’ve only seen her on her official opening night visits when she usually sits in the Wagners’ box. Apparently she and her hub and go “privately” as well.

  • John Borstlap says:

    In the corridors of the Bundestag it is whispered that the Ring had a deleterious influence upon the forming of the coalition.

  • Gary Freedman says:

    We’ll miss you, Frau Kanzlerin!!