Katharina Wagner grittily welcomes ‘restructuring’

Katharina Wagner grittily welcomes ‘restructuring’


norman lebrecht

December 30, 2020

The Bayreuth Festival chief says she’s ‘pleased that the structural problems that have been known for years are being discussed.’ She was responding from an unseasonal intervention by the federal culture minister Monika Grütters that the festival needs a structural overhaul.

Her statement, issued through gritted teeth, reads: ‘I am pleased to read that at this point in time, Minister of State Prof. Monika Grütters, despite other major challenges and problems to be solved in the cultural field, would like to renew the outdated structures that I have questioned for years in order to enable the Bayreuther Festspiel-GmbH, its employees and, last but not least, the management to continue working effectively and at the highest artistic level.’


  • A.L. says:

    Memo to Mesdames Wagner and Grütters: The real structural problems adversely impacting the festival and, more importantly, Herr Wagner’s works are the simultaneous disappearance of genuinely great voices to do them justice and the hegemonic rise of Regietheater pushing productions beyond the breaking point. The combination is lethal to the survival of the festival.

  • V. Lind says:

    “Responding to,” surely…

  • The festival’s orchestra musicians are selected by invitation which has caused problems with the under-representation of women. The membership had hovered around 5% for women until criticisms were made and it quickly sprang to about 15%, but that number is also ridiculously low. Selecting musicians on the basis of fully blind auditions would be a welcome part of structural changes.

  • IP says:

    I am sure he can be cancelled in one way or another, just let us fix Beethoven first.

  • David Spence says:

    When Bayreuth had Kupfer, Chereau, Goetz Friedrich, even Jurgen Flimm to an extent, Regietheater drew directly and succinctly from an intellectually legitimate, at least halfway valid lexicon, linguistics, etc. Even perhaps reckon that such gifted producers, such as David Alden, Luca Ronconi, Herbert Wernicke, Ruth Berghaus (somewhat) got overlooked. Some great opportunities missed. And today we have such postmodern dreck out of the likes of Stefan Herheim, Frank Castorf, Barrie Kosky and whoever else.

    In closing, when are Christian Thielemann and Katharina Wagner going to tie the knot?

    • Edgar Self says:

      Formerly Bayreuth Festival players were recruited nearby in in Bamberg and Munich. Ironically for the idea of a dynastic succession, Wagner built the Festspielhaus as a temporary structure to be razed after the first festivals.

      Chereau had the wit to adapt his pre-Machine Erector-Sets to Bernard Shaw’s idea, in “The Perfect Wagnerite”, of the “Ring” as allegory of the industrial revolution with Nibelheim standing in for the dark satanic mills, gold-list, and Fafnir transforming himself into a monster after killing his brother and retiring to a cave to guard his wealth like any good capitalist.

      German sources say Thielemann-Katharina nuptials are premature for technical reasons. Der Frist ist um and schwul are mentiomed. There could still be a marriage of convenience for economic considerations.

  • Gustavo says:

    Good one – a grütty response to Gritters!