All you need to know about Bayreuth in three adjacent signs

All you need to know about Bayreuth in three adjacent signs


norman lebrecht

August 11, 2015

bayreuth sign

courtesy proskenion Agentur

1 festival theatre, 2 mental hospital, 3 labour exchange


  • Simon S. says:

    Funny, but must be a couple of years old. It’s more than ten years now that the Arbeitsämter were renamed into “Agentur für Arbeit”

  • PDQ.BACH says:

    This might have been (but rest assured, it is not) drawn straight from an early edition of Herbert Rosendorfer’s immortal “Bayreuth für Anfänger”.
    To my knowledge, that gem of a guide, as indispensable as it is funny, has not yet been translated into English.

    Love or hate Wagner: if you can decipher the tiniest bit of German, do thyself a favour, postpone the purchase of that Thielemann-imprinted shroud, or that phial containing a drop of holy oil from Thielemann’s anointment, and order thee that book.

    • Theodore McGuiver says:

      Agree absolutely. Rosendorfer was a wonderful author, and his account of his years as a civil servant in Bayreuth are extremely entertaining. Germanophiles should also read his ‘Briefe in die chinesische Vergangenheit’. The sequel, ‘Die grosse Umwendung’ is not as good, but worth a few evenings of anyone’s time.

    • Alexander Brown says:

      Verily, thou hast said rightly! The book is on my list of future purchases. Incidentally, I still cannot fathom Thielemann’s enshrinement there – there are other conductors whose interpretations are far more musical and communicative than his rather mechanical, soulless renditions.

  • John Borstlap says:

    The signs describe an upward trajectory: first, looking for a job and getting crazy of it; second, recovering in the institution where the nurses sing ‘Weia walhalla’ from Rheingold; third, working as a set designer at the festival.