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Виланд Вагнер

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A portrait of the man who breathed a new life into the Bayreuth Festival, Wieland Wagner.

Wieland Wagner, Richard Wagner's grandson, was appointed director of the Bayreuth Festival in 1951 when the Festival reopened after the Second World War. Succeeding his mother who was banned from the Festival direction due to her close friendship with Adolf Hitler, Wieland Wagner opened a new chapter of the Festival history.

Wieland Wagner's work as a stage director and a designer was characterized by an innovative approach to his grandfather's operas, a minimalist staging exploiting the effects of light and letting music come to the fore. Considered as a goden age, the few years durings which Wieland Wagner led the Festival gave birth to epoch-making performances starring the greatest wagnerian singers, including Hans Hotter, Ludwig Weber, Wolfgang Windgassen, George London, Ramon Vinay, Josef Greindl, or Birgit Nilsson.

Working until his premature death from a lung cancer in 1966, Wieland Wagner opened new ways which his brother and succesor at the head of the Festival, Wolfgang, followed carefully.


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