End of the world: Bayreuth suspends ticket sales

End of the world: Bayreuth suspends ticket sales


norman lebrecht

March 18, 2020

The Festival has immediately halted online ticket sales for this summer’s programme.

The ticket site will not reopen before the end of May.

Katharina Wagner says: ‘We are currently in close consultation with our committees and the relevant authorities and will provide you with information on our website as soon as possible. Naturally, the health of our guests, all participants and staff is our top priority.’

Yesterday, Grange Park Opera called off its summer festival and Glyndebourne said it was reviewing its situation.


  • Dee Miner says:

    Gotterdammerung indeed, if Bayreuth is off this year.

  • A.L. says:

    Götterdämmerung indeed.

  • Mustafa Kandan says:

    I cannot see anything even close to normality in the next six months. It is easy to live through this crisis without complaining and grief if one felt that the world will be the same again once this is behind us. I myself strongly feel that we have just lost the world that we have become so accustomed to in the last several decades. In the face of climate change, I no longer believe that the transition to the new world will be an orderly one.

    • Guest says:

      totally agree

    • Gustavo says:

      The current situation may spur a new form of creativity like during the Fin-de-Siècle period.

      Maybe the time has come for “Kinder, schafft Neues”?

    • Alan says:

      Climate change has nothing to do with this recent outbreak.
      If you want a taste of what is to come if the climate extremists get their way then look around you. Society slowly falling apart.

      • John Rook says:

        Absolutely right.

      • SVM says:

        For years, there have been calls to cut back on flying. Finally, those calls have been heeded, and more abruptly than envisaged. The climate emergency is no less urgent than the covid-19 pandemic, and yet it is only the latter that seems to elicit truly drastic measures. Presumably, the reason is that covid-19 is indiscriminate, whilst it is still possible for the wealthy and privileged to avoid the worst consequences of climate change (whilst others die of famine, lack of clean water, flooding, forest fires, or wars over diminishing resources).

        Strictly speaking, Alan is probably right in that there is no evidence that covid-19 is caused directly by climate change. But it would be short-sighted not to turn the tragedy and disruption of the pandemic into an opportunity to reform our unsustainable consumption and travel habits as a society. We could start by NOT bailing out airlines, to ensure that the present disruption results in a permanent reduction in aviation. Already, factory closures in China and Italy have resulted in improvements to air quality and massive reductions in carbon-dioxide emissions (said reductions apparently exceed the entirety of UK carbon-dioxide emissions — the equivalent of reaching our 2050 carbon-neutral target???). Consequently, it is possible (but by no means certain) that covid-19 *may*, in the long term, end up saving more lives than it takes.

      • Petros Linardos says:

        My idea of climate change extremism is climate change denial: it’s an extreme view that denies the scientific community’s overwhelming consensus.

    • Tamino says:

      Let’s hope for the best.
      Let’s not get carried away by the mass media hysteria.
      In a few days we will know in Europe if the drastic measures taken over the last week yield positive results.
      After all it still might turn out that this is not much worse than the normal variation of flu seasons, one of the worse ones, yet with a different PR department.
      Be sane!

      • John Borstlap says:

        Entirely true and common sense comment.

        The hysteria is a bigger problem, on top of the real problem. It may be that there is also another virus at work, an invisible and psychological one, that invokes modern Angst.

      • Saxon Broken says:

        It is much more serious than a normal flu epidemic. In a bad year something like 30,000 or 50,000 people die during the flu season in Britain (and I guess Italy, which has roughly the same population). This means something like 250 deaths each day at the seasonal peak.

        In Italy, over 600 died today and we are unlikely to have hit the peak. This means it is likely to kill over 200,000 people in Britain (very many more than a bad flu year).

  • Rob says:

    They can stream it.

    • Cynical Bystander says:

      Yes, that makes sense! Put all the artists, orchestra, technicians and administrative staff at risk so that we are not disadvantaged too much. Something is happening but some seem to think that it isn’t. Until, maybe, it happens to them when no amount of precaution taken by others was not enough. Stream it indeed!

      • Tamino says:

        Is that so? After what we know, and everyday we know more that points into that direction, the risk for all below 60 is in the range of a normal flu outbreak, maybe a bit higher, but not by much. Have we stopped performing totally in the last 50 years because of the flu?

        It would be great if we could at least stream and broadcast as usual albeit from empty halls and studios.
        Maybe those who are too afraid to contribute could still stay at home?

        I’m pretty sure if this does not grow exponentially anymore, within a few weeks all are eager to perform again.

        • Cynical Bystander says:

          So we’ll take risks with the performers etc because they are not in an ‘at risk’ group? Good that you are confident to play with other people’s health. As to me I still maintain that we and the ‘experts’ do not know enough to be so cavalier. As to streaming. Let them stream their back catalogue if that helps. After all not many of us will have trudged up the green hill.

          • Tamino says:

            Have you looked up the deaths the flu takes every year in the world lately? I suppose you haven’t left the house and kept the windows shut for the last 50 years, since these microbes are so dangerous?

          • Saxon Broken says:

            Tamino, this is much worse than a bad flu outbreak. It will kill well over 10 times the number killed in an typical flu year. It will almost certainly last until at least June (maybe longer). That is pretty much a “best case scenario”.

    • Gustavo says:

      Only Rheingold qualifies as a stream.

  • Jeff says:

    I think the key to getting through this and making the world into a newer better place is positivity, creativity, and genuine compassion for the human race. We all have to learn now to love each other and this planet.

  • Tiredofitall says:

    The fate of Bayreuth should not be the calculus for humanity. I’m wringing my hands, but not for Wagner.

  • Escamillo says:

    In Wagner’s lifetime, the Festival Theatre went dark for six years between 1876 and 1882. One season out of action would be nothing by comparison.

  • Edgar Self says:

    Wotan foresaw it: “Das Ende … das E n d e .” Chillingly sung by Hans Hotter, warned by Erda, wisest of the Wala.

  • Leporello says:

    The end of Katharina’s disastrous directorship would be the best outcome.

    • Gustavo says:

      Fair point.

      What is worse: the end of an era or the chance to reboot the system?

      What will be worse: the virus itself or the cultural, social and economic consequences of precautionary measures going viral?