Katharina Wagner gets 5 more years

Katharina Wagner gets 5 more years


norman lebrecht

November 17, 2019

The hereditary director of the Bayreuth Festival has been renewed until 2025.

Now there’s a surprise.



  • Mustafa Kandan says:

    I have never been to Bayreuth & never seen her productions, but it is always reassuring to see Thielemann next to her as music director, so it cannot be that bad. It is good to keep the tradition with the family, especially as anyone in that family associated with Adolf Hitler or anti-semitism in general (which of course includes the great man himself) have already passed away.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    I’m guessing I’ll be among the few to say this here, but good for her.

  • sam says:

    Hereditary control of artistic legacies is never a good idea. If only genius could be passed down to the next generation.

    But what is the legacy of Bayreuth anyway, at this point in history, but the building? Certainly not the productions there, the best Wagner today is not being done at Bayreuth.

    So if some billionaire (or some lost province in China) really wanted to, he/she/it could reproduce that building elsewhere to get the same wholistic musical experience (don’t worry, for the right fees, there will be no shortage of top orchestras and singers and directors, even Wagner heirs, for hire).

    No doubt the Wagner heirs will refuse to give up the blue prints to Bayreuth (oh surely, there’ll be one heir who’s willing to sell it for the right price), there is enough public information out there, and with modern technology and science, an even improved structure could be built (like the notoriously bad orchestra pit).

  • John G. Deacon says:

    What is there to say ? Have been attending since 1966 but simply don’t go there any longer (in spite of Thielemann).

    JGD / Video Product Management, Philips Classics 1989-95.

    • urania says:

      I have been there for years but after her 2007 MS I dont go anymore. Also because of Thielemann and other bad choices on the artistical level. I have known her parents and do know many family stories.

  • Benjamin Staern says:

    No matter what, I would love to come Bayreuth and attend their productions the coming years.

  • Karl says:

    Thielemann/KWagner worked reasonably well and it was the correct decision to give them another 5 years. Hereditary or not is secondary.

    • Tamino says:

      True. Also a decision of stability. Not that KW is above the mediocre at best. But were there alternatives short term? Bayreuth has an alliance of enemies these days. Not easy to focus on the artistic quality, but that’s their ONLY justification to exist. Otherwise tradition is only “Schlamperei”.

      Midterm I wish for Bayreuth to have a more genius artistic leader than KW, but who could it be?

  • Edgar Self says:

    It’s odd, but Wagner didn’t consider the Festspielhaus a part of his legacy but rather a temporary structure. “There is nothing as permanent s a temporary arrangement.”

  • John Borstlap says:

    The first impression of the heading seems to refer to some criminal act.

  • Leporello says:

    KW’s productions are contrived, undergraduate affairs of no lasting value. Go somewhere else.

  • Alexander Tarak says:

    Am I the only one who finds Thielemann very unimaginative and earthbound?