Calls for restraint as Bayreuth is left without toilets

Calls for restraint as Bayreuth is left without toilets


norman lebrecht

January 20, 2020

They blew up the old 1931 toilet block – the one where Hitler wee’d – after the summer fest.

The plan was to build a new block at a cost of 540,000 Euros.

Unfortunately, the costs have overflowed by 130,000 Euros and town councillors are refusing to spend a penny more (boom-boom).

For the moment, visitors are being advised to go, before they go to Bayreuth.


  • John Borstlap says:

    To sit through Rheingold with all the water symbolism on stage, will be quite a challenge. The finale of Gotterdammerung with all the flooding will be especially problematic with the prospect of no way to carry the inspiration to an accessible place.

    • Kurwenal says:

      No worries, as most modern productions have very little in the way of water, esp. in the immolation scene. Castorf’s idiotic plastic swimming pool in Rheingold wouldn’t pose a problem.

    • BrianB says:

      Since Rheingold (and Dutchman, also waterlogged ) play without intermission, no problem. 😉

  • V. Lind says:

    Has anyone on that council ever BEEN to Wagner? Are they kidding?

    I’s not April 1 yet, is it?

  • Byrwec Ellison says:

    Just curious – what kind of facilities did Wagner’s audience have in 1876?

    • John Borstlap says:

      According to historic evidence, practical considerations had been exercised at the last minute, because the building of the festival house itself – i.e. the auditorium, unusually-structured pit and stage spaces – took (surprise, surprise!) longer than envisaged. With the result that toilets were very sparce, the road leading-up to the building still unpaved resulting in muddy tracks everywhere, and excruciatingly sparse food and drinks in the intervals which led to serious quarrels among audience members. Add to this the lack of enough accomodation in town, and prices tenfold higher than was reasonable, one can imagine the excitement of the occasion was fuelled by more than one source. There are lively reports, among others by Chaikovsky who was sent-out to Bayreuth by a Russian journal.

    • Enquiring Mind says:

      A forest of trees with large leaves.

  • erich says:

    They should approach the Japanese company which manufactures those new superloos and take care of ‘everything’ at the touch of a button (and save paper too). Super advertisement for them, given the noble rear ends which would need to avail themselves of their service!

  • Calvin says:

    In Act 1 Scene 4 of Wozzeck, the Doctor tells Wozzeck that he should not “piss in the street.” Time to countermand that advice.

  • phf655 says:

    I remember ‘facilities’ in the basement of the festspielhaus. This must be a separate building adjoining the restaurants or the parking lot.

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    Time to re-introduce the ‘garçon de pisse’, very popular in the royal courts in the past.

  • Greg Bottini says:

    Have they never heard of Porta-Potties?

    • PaulD says:

      In Germany, the brand of porta-potty you see a lot of is “Toi-Toi”. Just add another “Toi” to make it appropriate for an opera venue.

  • Gardharnon says:

    This is what the (now old-fashioned) authenticity in music is bringing: run to the trees, as in Wagner time.

  • Alexander says:

    “For the moment, visitors are being advised to go, before they go to Bayreuth” – in a word -” piss off cause there is no pissoir ” 😉

  • Peter B says:

    Been to Bayreuth several times, never been to this building. There are toilets in both restaurants which everyone uses. Great fun, this post, but not exactly relevant.

  • Alasdair Munro says:

    Gotterdamerung must have been the inspiration for the 3p Opera.

  • Sharon says:

    I can’t speak for Germany but I know that the majority of ticket holders in most opera houses in the US are over 60–and many are over 80! They may remember the days of outhouses but it is not part of their idea of an enjoyable evening.

    Unless the demographic of opera goers in Germany is substantially different, and maybe even if it is, if Bayreuth does not do something soon fewer people will buy tickets and many will request refunds on their subscriptions.

  • BrianB says:

    Seems it would have made sense to keep the old privies until the new ones are ready.