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Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg von Richard Wagner
The genesis of a Bayreuth production
Das Entstehen einer Bayreuth-Inszenierung
Ein Film von/A fi lm by DAGMAR KRAUSS
The film documents the genesis of the new production of Wagner’s
“Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg” in Bayreuth.
In 2007, Katharina Wagner made her directing debut at the
Bayreuth Festival – a debut unlike any other. For Katharina Wagner
is none other than the great-granddaughter of Richard Wagner, the
daughter of the long-time Bayreuth patriarch Wolfgang Wagner,
and, in his eyes at least, his sole possible successor as head of the
Bayreuth Festival. Rarely was the musical world’s attention focused
on one opera production as on this staging of “Die Meistersinger”.
For eight months, Dagmar Krauss accompanied Katharina Wagner
and her team, fi lming them in candid moments and revealing the
inner workings of the Bayreuth Festival such as we have never seen before. Balancing the spontaneity of the roving camera are interviews and statements by singers and theatre employees, as well as by director colleagues such as Christoph Schlingensief and conductors such as Christian Thielemann. As we witness the development of the production concept, we, too, are drawn into the excitement leading to the premiere on 25 July 2007.
The film paints the impressive portrait of a gifted, self-controlled, no-nonsense young woman who tackles a work that has stumped many an older and more experienced colleague and endows it with a new, contemporary, controversial message.
She cunningly holds up a mirror to the festival public, both the traditional-minded, long-standing Wagnerians as well as the younger opera lovers who demand more risk and innovation. She offers a wealth of surprising views on art in general,
demands that one take a stance, and even thematizes her own situation as potential head of the Bayreuth Festival.
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