Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier becomes patron of the Wagner Theatre in Riga

Riga/Berlin: During his visit to Berlin today, Latvian President Egils Levits expressed his gratitude for President Steinmeier’s decision to join the Latvian President in taking over patronage of the Wagner House in Riga.

The vision of the “Renaissance of the Wagner Theatre Riga”, as the project is titled, is the creation of a cultural centre in north-eastern Europe. In addition to the normal theatre operations, the unique building ensemble in the old town of Riga offers an infinite amount of space: 5000 square metres should and want to be filled with new life.

A “GesamtkunstWerk21”, a total work of art of the 21st century, is to be created here, an incubator for all the arts and an international centre for young artists. At Richard Wagner Straße 4, where Richard Wagner himself was Kapellmeister for two years (1837-1839), the initiators are thus following his exclamation: “Children! Create something new”.

The building complex was handed over by the Latvian state to the Richard Wagner Society Riga in October 2020 for this very purpose. In December 2020, the German Bundestag approved funding for the project in the amount of 5.2 million euros over six years.

The initiator of the project, the former Latvian president and entrepreneur Maris Gailis, the chairman of the Richard Wagner Society Riga: “President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s patronage of the Richard Wagner House in Riga is a testament to the international significance of this project and to enforcement of the historical cultural ties in the European context, especially between Latvia and Germany.”

In addition to the two presidents, Eva Wagner-Pasquier, former Festival Director of the Bayreuth Festival, is also patron of the project.


Press contact in Riga:
Vaiva Bauze

Press contact in Berlin:
Mechthild Foet

You can find pictures here.
Copyright: Latvian Presidential Chancellery

WORLD RELIGION WAGNER documentary film shoots in Riga

In April, the documentary WORLD RELIGION VAGNER (working title) was shot in Riga at the Rihards Wagner House and the Latvian National Opera, and the founders of the Rihards Wagner Society Māris Gailis and Egils Siliņš, one of the most one of the world’s most sought-after bass-baritone Wagnerists and Chairman of the Latvian National Opera, were interviewed.

Film makers: “WORLD RELIGION WAGNER is a cinema documentary about the worlds love and fascination with the music of Richard Wagner. Until this day, there are more than 125 Wagner Societies all around the globe and we have been visiting some of them, to find out how such a massive following has developed over the years. From Italy to Japan, from Los Angeles to Abu Dhabi, from Israel to Russia and now Riga – we have been meeting „Wagnerians“ and talked about their passion for Wagner’s music and their „Mecca“ – The Bayreuth Festival.

The film is directed by award winning classical music journalist Axel Brüggemann and will be release in cinemas from July 2021 on.

German Bundestag confirms 5.2 million Euro for the renaissance of the Wagner Theatre in Riga

Riga/Berlin: Today, the adoption of the 2021 budget took place in the German Bundestag, and the allocation of 5.2 million euro for the renovation of the Wagner House in Riga was on the agenda, the allocated amount will ensure security for a long-term planning of the project. In total, the restoration, renovation and revitalization of the former first Riga Theatre will cost 35 million euro.

In October 2020, the keys to the building ensemble were handed over to the Riga Richard Wagner Society. The support of the German government, especially in the early stages of the project, is essential and should be highly valued, as it will provide the necessary co-financing to attract funds.

The patron of the project and former festival director Eva Wagner-Pasquier has followed the developments with great interest: “Today is a great day for all lovers of Richard Wagner’s music: that the Bundestag has decided to support this long-term project makes me, as patroness, extremely happy. Soon we will hopefully be able to open the Wagner Theatre in Riga and thus lead his idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk into a new century”.

The Latvian President and patron of the project Egils Levits, said: “I am delighted that the German Bundestag will financially support the restoration of the Wagner Theatre so that it can once again become one of the most visible cultural centers in Northern Europe. The Wagner Theatre is of great importance for the history and cultural life in Latvia and Germany”.

Project initiator Maris Gailis, Chairman of the Board of the Riga Richard Wagner Society, said: “The significant financial support of the German Bundestag is a wonderful signal – the Wagner Theatre in Riga will revive!”


More information:
Vaiva Bauze
Mārketinga un sabiedrisko attiecību vadītāja
Rīgas Riharda Vāgnera biedrība
+ 371 29151532

Richard Wagner Gesellschaft Riga takes over former German Theatre

On 20 October, President of Latvia Egils Levits took part in the key handover ceremony at the Riga Wagner House. This ceremony marked the official launch of Latvian-German partnership for ‘Renaissance of the Wagner Theatre Riga’.

In the presence of President Egils Levits and the mayor of the Hanseatic city of Riga, Mārtiņš Staķis, Māris Gailis received the keys to the former German Theatre in the heart of the Old Town. Ceremony for handing over of the building ensemble was officiated by Renars Griskevics, Chairman of the board, SJSC State Real Estate. After the third reading of the bill in late summer, the Richard Wagner Association of Riga, whose chairman is Māris Gailis, has come a step closer to its goal: renovation and restoration of the historic building, as well as revival and revitalization of the theatre.

President Egils Levits, who is also the patron of the project, underlined: ‘I support this forward-looking German–Latvian project. This building is the embodiment of previous two and a half centuries of Latvian history. This project will enrich the cultural life of Latvia and also the whole Europe. I am pleased that this Hall will soon regain the spotlight it deserves as a cultural beacon by the Baltic sea in Northern Europe. It will quickly become one of the main attractions in Riga. People will come here to enjoy culture. It is one of those magnetic places every city must have. People are attracted to cities for various reasons, and cultural life is one of them. I wish the project best of luck.’

In recent years, the Riga Richard Wagner Society had taken over the building ensemble, in which Richard Wagner worked from 1837 to 1839. The author of the idea, Maris Gailis, emphasized today: ‘Handing over of the key is the most important prerequisite for preserving this unique ensemble of buildings in the Old Town of Riga. Project “Renaissance of the Wagner Theatre Riga – GesamtkunstWerk21” is our way of honouring and acknowledging the importance of the house for Europe and our country.’

Special architecture of the house fuelled Wagner’s particular interest in a new type of opera house, a type of building similar to the first building of this kind erected later in Bayreuth. It also laid the foundation for his vision on how to merge all art forms into one universal work of art-the Gesamtkunstwerk. Former festival director Eva Wagner-Pasquier and Maris Gailis joined forces and convinced the great-granddaughter of Richard Wagner to become the patroness of the project. Project GesamtkunstWerk21 will become an arts incubator for all arts – old and new, serving as a platform for conceiving, creating and implementing new multidisciplinary ideas. Eva Wagner-Pasquier is convinced that the project will be a success: ‘Riga is the place where my great-grandfather, who left a profound mark and revolutionised European art and culture, became a figure of continental magnitude. This project places the significance of his work in the European context. By bringing this special place with such musical and historical relevance back to life, giving it back the features of universal art form while adapting it to 21st century needs, we are doing a fantastic job. It is a true success story.’

Project financing burden will be distributed among several stakeholders. In addition to funding from the Latvian government and the city of Riga, German government will also decide on additional co-financing in the coming weeks. Moreover, the project is very likely to also be financed by Brussels.


Circular letter regarding Riga

Dear Sir/Madam, dear friends of Richard Wagner,

I would like to present to you today a project of outstanding and worldwide importance. It concerns the Wagner Hall and the German Theatre in Riga in beautiful Latvia, which is now once again an independent state, but belonged to the Russian Tsarist Empire during Richard Wagner’s lifetime.

Richard Wagner stayed in Riga with his first wife Minna for two years and filled the position Music Director at the theatre. For a while they were safe here from his Prussian creditors.

But Riga’s theatre was also the opera house in which Wagner started his musical experiences and began to experiment with a partially covered orchestra pit, which he only could bring to perfection in the Bayreuth Festspielhaus much later. It still plays the most important “musical role” there today.

In Riga, however, Wagner’s major expansions and developments in relation to grand opera also began to emerge, especially the text and score for his Grand Opéra “Rienzi”, took their beginnings in this place and the first two acts of “Rienzi” were created in Riga.

While fleeing from his creditors from Riga across the Baltic Sea to England and on to Paris, the “Flying Dutchman” was created in his mind’s eye, showing unmistakable traits of his own identity and his experiences of the dramatic flight from Riga.

Thus Riga is one of the most formative places of his work alongside Dresden, Venice and Bayreuth.

Let yourself be inspired by the special project of the reconstruction and renovation of the German Theatre with the “Wagner Hall”, which is part of an extensive building complex that needs to be renovated.

Above all, the aim was to prevent a shopping centre to replace the theatre, this was already under discussion, despite the building’s special historical background. Behind this major global project is none other than former Latvian Prime Minister Maris Gailis, Chairman of the Riga Richard Wagner Society. A large number of comrades-in-arms such as the current president of Latvia, Egils Levits, the Wagner great-granddaughter Eva Wagner-Pasquier, the German-Baltic and the German- Baltic exchange member of parliament Elisabeth Motschmann with the project manager Dr. Konrad Winckler and Mechthild Foet are represented as well as the Richard Wagner Associations and some sponsors who are involved in the reconstruction and renovation of the building complex.

The project was presented to the European Parliament in Brussels and met with great participation and lively interest.

The laying of the foundation stone will take place at the beginning of 2021 and the completion should be in 2024, if all plans can be kept. We want to be present on both occasions and ask our associations to participate.

The total volume of the renovation is 35 million euros. The amounts received by us (we have been asked to do this as a neutral institution) will be transferred in full to the company in Riga and our only task as a neutral association is to receive and forward the funds. We are following the conditions of the EU for subsidies, which may not be paid directly to the projects, but via neutral cultural institutions in Europe such as RWVI. I cordially invite you, your members and friends to participate financially with all your possibilities in this unique project.

We are convinced that the building complex, (5000 square meters of space), after its redevelopment through its conception as an international music center with its own concert hall and diverse training facilities for classical music and musicology under one roof, is ideally suited to revive a great European and worldwide cultural impulse, connected with the name Richard Wagner, especially in Eastern Europe. Here the famous sentence of Richard Wagner once again shows itself to be particularly stringent:

“Kinder, schafft Neues!”

Of course, the complete programme for the renovation of the entire complex is already available and we are pleased to present it to you on our website in English and German.

In cordial solidarity

Rainer Fineske
Präsident RWV International

View PDF

Richard’s Dream

Richard’s Dream

An international cultural centre is to be established in the former German Theatre in the Latvian capital Riga.

It is hard to believe that music history was once written behind the dreary façade with its crumbling brickwork and weathered window frames. After all, a memorial plaque announces that a certain Rihards Vāgners was active in the house as a conductor and composer between 1837 and 1839, and that in addition 1842 Ferenzs Lists, 1844 Klāra Vīka-Šumane and Antons Rubinsteins, and in 1847 Hector Berliozs were guests in the building. The former German Theatre in the Latvian capital Riga is now called the “Wagner Hall” and preserves the memory of the fact that Richard Wagner spent two decisive years of his early artistic life at this site. The Latvian spelling of the names of Wagner, Franz Liszt, Klara Wieck-Schumann, Anton Rubinstein and Héctor Berlioz has been distorted to such an extent that it is still possible to recognise the luminaries of early Romanticism who performed in the house.

Wagner conducted the concerts in Riga, devoted himself intensively to his first truly great opera (“Rienzi, the Last of the Tribunes”) and made discoveries in the German Theatre which will be of decisive importance for his still embryonic project of a musical theatre encompassing all the arts. He was fascinated by the parquet floor rising like an amphitheatre and the darkened auditorium, from which the audience’s gaze is inevitably focused on the illuminated stage. He was also fascinated by the pragmatic solution, born of pure space constraints, to make the orchestra partially disappear under the stage.

Such experiences were decisive in the planning of Wagner’s own festival theatre in Bayreuth, where he had the audience rows rise in a similar way to Riga and even had the orchestra pit completely covered. The German Theater, designed as a kind of palace, was built by the German-Baltic Baron Otto Hermann von Vietinghoff as a private investor according to the plans of the German architect Christoph Haberland. Of course, there is almost nothing left of the original furnishings.

After the Riga Opera House was opened in 1863, the German Theatre lost its importance. During the Soviet era new fixtures were added, as the “Wagner Hall” the house housed various cultural institutions, and it also served as a library, dance hall and music club in the newly independent Latvia. The complex was closed a decade and a half ago, because the walls showed new cracks and other serious damage. Various initiatives to renovate the building and give it a new purpose have been stuck in local political squabbles. However, Maris Gailis, former Prime Minister of Latvia and chairman of the local Richard Wagner Association, has now given new impetus to the plan to turn the building into much more than just a Wagner pilgrimage site.

In the complex, which will hopefully soon be thoroughly renovated and expanded, an international cultural centre is to be created in which Wagner’s ideas of a Gesamtkunstwerk encompassing all forms of artistic expression on an equal footing are to be transferred to the present and future. Nothing less than a cultural “lighthouse” visible everywhere in Europe is to be created from the previously neglected building. Representatives of all genres, from musicians and directors to film musicians and lighting designers, should each work there for a while and be able to contribute their share to the further development of music theatre. Once restored, the theatre hall, which will hold around four hundred visitors, would at least be suitable for chamber concerts and opera performances with a small cast. In the other rooms, some of which have a stately appearance, young musicians from all over Europe could train in seminars and courses. The cultural centre should also be open to the public. Museum rooms, concerts, readings and festive events should also attract the crowds of tourists flocking to Riga.

This all sounds very promising, but the decisive factor will be whether the ambitious project can be financed. Twenty-five million euros have been estimated for renovation and expansion, and another ten million euros or so for equipment and various follow-up costs. The fundraising is in full swing, and the response so far from potential public sponsors such as private sponsors, patrons or patrons gives those responsible confidence. Gailis has convinced a whole range of personalities of the urgent need to save the building from further decay or even demolition and to prevent a shopping centre from being built on the historic site.

As allies, Gailis has already won over the current Latvian President Egils Levits, Wagner’s great-granddaughter Eva Wagner-Pasquier, Elisabeth Motschmann, a member of the Bundestag who is committed to German-Baltic exchange, project manager Konrad Winckler and German Wagner associations.

Latvian and German cultural workers, politicians and organisations are primarily committed to the project – Brussels and the individual member states of the European Community would have to contribute more than just a small mite to the development of such an ambitious international project.

Josef Oehrlein

View PDF

The Wagner House project

The Wagner House project has received conceptual support of the Saeima (Parliament) and Government of the Republic of Latvia. On September 19, 2019, the law on transferring the Wagner House at Vāgnera iela 4 in Riga to the Richard Wagner Society was conceptually and unanimously approved in the first reading.

The final adoption of the law is scheduled for the first half of 2020.

The Wagner Society expects to obtain the financing necessary for restoring the Wagner House from international public and private funds.

The beginning of the architectural design work is scheduled for 2020. In 2021, we expect to begin the reconstruction of the building. Until then we have to collect the 25 million EUR necessary for the restoration.

We expect to open the Wagner Theater in 2025.

Wagner’s vision of the Festspielhaus

Wagner’s vision of the Festspielhaus

The former German Theater in Riga is to become an international music center / By Josef Oehrlein, Riga

It was only two years during which Richard Wagner worked as conductor at the Deutsches Theater in the Latvian capital, Riga, which at the time belonged to Russia. From 1837 to 1839, he obviously had to serve the routine opera repertoire of the time there in a rather bored manner. But at the same time he received groundbreaking impulses for his future work. He was fascinated by the amphitheatre-style rising parquet floor, the darkened auditorium with its focus on the illuminated scenery and the orchestra, which was partly concealed under the stage. These special features of the Riga theatre impressed Wagner and influenced his ideas of his own musical theatre building, as he later realised it in Bayreuth.

Wagner’s artistic development also received decisive impulses in Riga. In addition to opera, he created his own concert series, especially with works by Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven, and worked on his first truly great opera, “Rienzi, the Last of the Tribunes”. He had already begun composing it before his time in Riga, although it was not premiered until 1842 in Dresden. And on his adventurous flight from Riga to escape his creditors, Wagner, who was notoriously over-indebted, had the inspiration to create an opera from his impressions of the stormy sea journey. It became the “Flying Dutchman”.

The German Theatre in Riga was a centre of German culture even beyond Wagner’s time. Franz Liszt, Clara Schumann and other renowned artists from the German-speaking world gave guest performances there. The German-Baltic Baron Otto Hermann von Vietinghoff had had the palace-like complex built as a private investor, as one would say today, in the second half of the eighteenth century; the German architect Christoph Haberland had planned it. When the new opera house in Riga, which opened in the sixties of the nineteenth century, went into operation in 1862, the German Theatre lost its importance. During the Soviet era, it was given new fixtures as the “Wagner Hall” and used for various cultural purposes, including a library, dance hall and music club.

The building has been closed for a decade and a half because of cracks and other defects, some of which were very serious. It seemed to be left to decay. There were repeated attempts to renovate the building and revive it, but the project got stuck in Riga’s communal squabbles, and above all there was always a lack of money. Another priority was the project to provide the city with a large concert hall. The “Wagnersaal” is not suitable for this purpose, although a large building complex opens up behind the inconspicuous façade on Richard-Wagner-Strasse. It accommodates a large number of medium-sized rooms, some of them of a stately character. But a hall for concerts and other events can be accommodated in the building for at most about four hundred visitors.

Riga still does not have a concert hall, apart from the Great Guild, but now the Wagner Hall project is gaining momentum. The driving force behind the project is former Latvian Prime Minister Maris Gailis, chairman of the Riga Richard Wagner Society. He has convinced a number of personalities of the necessity of saving the building from decay or even demolition. As allies, he has already brought on board the incumbent Latvian President Egils Levits, Wagner’s great-granddaughter Eva-Wagner Pasquier, Elisabeth Motschmann, a member of the German Bundestag who is committed to German-Baltic exchange, and project manager Konrad Winckler, as well as German Wagner associations, and above all several sponsors who have already expressed their serious commitment to financing the reconstruction and expansion.

In the meantime, there are quite clear ideas on how the building complex can be used: as a musical cultural centre with a restored theatre hall, a museum and rooms for seminars and for young musicians to meet luminaries in their respective fields in an international scholarship programme. The Riga-born violinist Gidon Kremer, for example, would like to maintain an office in the building and offer master classes. But the centre is also to be open to the public. The reconstructed hall would at least be suitable for chamber concerts and opera performances with a small cast, for example of works from the baroque period, and the museum could develop into a magnet for the flocks of tourists who come to Riga mainly from cruise ships.
The three-storey building complex with a total area of five thousand square metres, which can be extended to five storeys, is still owned by the city of Riga, but it is to be handed over to the local Wagner Society under conditions of use; a law to this effect is expected to be passed shortly. Twenty-five million euros have been estimated for the renovation and expansion, and another ten million euros or so for the equipment and various follow-up costs. Fundraising is still in progress. In an interview with this newspaper, Gailis expressed confidence that the renovation work could begin in a year or two. The music centre could then open in 2024 at the earliest.

In the meantime, the project is largely a Baltic-German project. In view of the importance of Richard Wagner as a European artist, Brussels and the European countries in general must also commit themselves to the preservation of the Palace of Culture and its future sensible use. Nothing would be worse than for the house to fall into the hands of commerce. Sad to think that a shopping centre could move in where Richard Wagner spent two crucial years of his artistic life.

published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 6. Dezember 2020

View PDF

Latest RWVI newsletter


RWVI WAGNER NEWS – Nr. 10 – 07/2019 – deutsch – english – français

           Member societies are kindly requested to send us information about news and events using the download forms on our website.
           · Link to send News: http://www.richard-wagner.org/send-news/
           · Link to send Events: http://www.richard-wagner.org/send-event/
Please help us by using these forms.


Dear Wagner community worldwide,

It’s almost time for the 2019 Bayreuth Festival to open its doors to Wagnerians world-wide and the anticipation for what promises to be another exciting year is growing.

There are anniversaries to celebrate this year – of both Wolfgang and Siegfried Wagner, with events to commemorate these running throughout the Festival period. There is also a Wagner to commemorate for a life very well lived – Verena, who died recently, was the last surviving granddaughter of Richard and was much loved in the Wagner community. RWVI President Horst Eggers has written his welcome letter to all Wagner Societies for 2019 and you will find a link to this below.

Details of the events can be found in the Events section of our website and several are listed below with links to more detailed information.

The present Board is entering its final few months in office, with elections for the next 5-year term to take place at our annual Congress in Venice. We have reflected on our achievements and also on our shortcomings and, should those of us who will decide to stand again be re-elected, we will do our utmost to take your comments on board and to build on our achievements in a spirit of continuous improvement.

This will be our last newsletter in this format. Many of you have told us that you find the newsletter too long and too infrequent. From September/October onwards we plan to issue a monthly short newsletter by email (with a separate email for each of our language groups), to ensure that the news is current and relevant. As ever, we need your help to keep the information coming in to us.

We are also planning some exciting changes to the website, with the introduction of a members’ area, where Presidents will be able to log-in and will be able to update their data with any changes, post comments, including news about tickets for Wagner productions for sale and communicate with each other on matters of interest. The aim is to create an electronic notice board for our members and to make our site more interactive.

We hope you enjoy our Newsletter.

Your Newsletter team


           1) RWVI-news
           2) News from Bayreuth
           3) News/Events/Successes of RWVI member societies
           4) New books, CDs, DVDs
           5) Perspectives on Wagner productions


1) RWVI News

RWVI Annual Reports 2018
The collection of Annual Reports for 2018 from the RWVI members are now available to read and download on our website

Keynote Wagner 2019 – “Richard Wagner and Theology”
The weekend symposium held in Munich from 22 to 24 March 2019 was a success

The next Keynote Wagner will be held in Reykjavik in May 2020
The topic is The Nordic Sources and their impact on Wagner. The provisional programme can be found on our website and the Wagner Society Iceland is working
with Ars Musica to create a travel package

Ring Award 2020 – The programme and booking forms are now available
Supported by the RWVI, this renowned competition for young directors and set designers will take place once again in Graz in 2020

RWVI Congress 2019
The next International RWVI Congress, hosted by the WS Venice will take place from 28 November to 2 December. The final programme, along with booking forms are now available on our website. This conference is proving very popular and members are urged to book as soon as possible. The programme is very impressive.

Southern German Wagner Societies held a successful conference
Chairs from 5 southern German societies gathered in Munich in the „Movimento“ to exchange experiences

Another successful regional conference for RWVI member societies in Austria
All the Austrian Chairs met up in Salzburg in the Mozarteum to exchange their experiences


2) News from Bayreuth

Obituary for Verena Lafferentz-Wagner
The RWVI is in deep mourning for its Honorary Member

President Horst Eggers‘ welcome letter to the Bayreuth Festival 2019

Dr. Oswald Bauer receives the Bayreuth Gold Medal
On 16 May, Dr. O G Bauer was awarded the Bayreuth Gold Medal for his encyclopaedic benchmark work “History of the Bayreuth Festival 1850 – 2000” and his work for the Bayreuth Festival

Advance tickets for this year’s interesting Discourse Bayreuth Programme are now on sale
For the third year running, the performances at the Bayreuth Festival will be complemented by a carefully curated programme of supporting events – the link below gives further information in German
Tickets for the events, including concerts can be bought on Ticketmaster:

Siegfried Wagner events in Bayreuth
To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Siegfried Wagner, the International Siegfried Wagner Society is putting on a number of events during the Festival, including a performance of one Siegfried’s operas

Performers for this year’s Scholars concert along with details of date, time and how to buy tickets have now been published

Scholarship Week dates announced for Bayreuth 2020


3) News/Events/Successes of RWVI member societies

In co-operation with the WS Augsburg, a concert with excerpts from Parsifal was held at the Wartburg in Eisenach on 25 April. Link to article in German.

Brussels – A Wagner weekend in Brussels
A Tristan weekend in Brussels on 11 and 12 May 2019 – shared pleasure in Wagner is doubly joyful

In co-operation with the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, the Wagner Society of Düsseldorf is conducting a market research exercise from April to July 2019

Members of the WS visited Bayreuth out of season (link to article in German)
Johannes Martin Kränzle was awarded the Rheingold Prize by the WS Frankfurt on 17 February 2019, giving him honorary membership in the „somewhat different fanclub“.

The „somewhat different fanclub“ live on 27 July
The radio station Hessischer Rundfunk (hr2) will broadcast an extensive one-hour portrait of the WS Frankfurt in its “Music scene in Hesse” programme. The broadcast will take place from 15:00 to 17:00 CET. In a live interview, hr2 editor Christiane Hillebrandt will ask the Chairman Dirk Jenders about the diverse life of the Frankfurt society. Naturally, appropriate music will be played.

Iceland – visit to New York for the Ring
16 members went to New York to join many Wagnerians from around the world for the Met’s Ring

Kassel – News from the Staatstheater
• Premiere of the new production of Siegfried on 14. September
• New Deputy Music Director at the opera house -Mario Hartmuth
• New theatre education initiative “The Young State Theatre”
Theatre conference of the Protestant Academy Hofgeismar
• This year’s theme: Richard Wagner – Die Walküre
The Boundlessness and Genius of Richard Wagner
• -A lecture was given at the beginning of May in the series “Psychoanalysis on the Road”. Prof. Dr. Dieter Ohlmeier (Kassel) dealt with Wagner’’s Ring from a psychoanalytical point of view.

Leipzig – Wagnerians in the Orient
A group of 30 members of the WS visited Abu Dhabi to attend a guest concert performance from the Bayreuth Festival of Die Walküre
The Leipzig Richard Wagner Prize for young artists 2019 was awarded to 23 year old oboist Alexander Kaul, from the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Rostock.

Lisbon – a surprise birthday party for Wagner from the enterprising Portuguese

London – 2019 Singing Competition announced
23 November, Wigmore Hall, London, 11am

Lyon – Wagner and the Rhônegold – A conference in Lyon in April
Several members of various French Wagner Societies attended this conference with lectures, readings, a gala dinner and a tour of Lyon.

The Wagner House in Meudon

Munich – Live Painting with the Chair of the Brno WS
An original painting by the Czech artist Vladimir Kiseljov has found a home in Linz. Born in 1984, the artists is well known to members of the RWVI.

Netherlands – the Wagner Genootschap names two new honorary members
Edo de Waart and Henk de Vlieger were bestowed on 25 May with honorary membership by the WS Netherlands.

Newsletters – the latest from Brussels, Toulouse, Melbourne, Paris and New Zealand
All available to read on our website.

New York – annual Bayreuth lectures to be given by Professor J. J. H. Muller in he Arvena Kongress Hotel from 17-29 August

Nice Côte d’Azur A lecture by WS President Michèle Bessout
7 September „De Rienzi au Vaisseau Fantôme, ou la Révélation du Génie »

Nuremberg – News from the WS in the city of the Mastersingers Symposium on the 150th birthday of Siegfried Wagner
Saturday 19 October, 11:00 – 17:00. Loew Merkur hotel, Pillenreuther Str. 1, 90459 Nuremberg.

Singapore – former Chair awarded honorary degree
Juliana Lim, former Chair of the Wagner Association of Singapore, was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Essex UK to acknowledge her contribution to the arts.

Wagner soprano visits Singapore
The up and coming British soprano Rachel Nicholls visited Singapore and met members of the local WS

Southern California – WSSC to host gala dinner once more in Bayreuth
For those in Bayreuth on 25 August, tickets are now available to attend this delightful annual event in the Steigenberger Restaurant after the show.

Toulouse – Cercle Wagner to host a Parsifal weekend in February 2020
Wagnerian Toulousains visit Bordeaux
10 members of the Cercle Wagner de Toulouse visited Bordeaux in May to attend a performance of Die Walküre


4) New books


New Books in German

Wieland Wagner: Ästhetik, Zeitgeschichte, Wirkung
Stephan Mösch / Sven Friedrich bei Könighausen und Meumann The presentation of the book will take place on 24 July at 10 am in Haus Wahnfried

Dr. Martha Schad
„Cosima Wagner und Ludwig II von Bayern – Briefe”

Frankfurter Wagner-Kontexte – Volume 2
Volume 2 in the series published by the WS Frankfurt is now available.
This new volume is dedicated to the violinist August Wilhelmj (1845 – 1908), who was one of the greates violinists of his time, and a key influence on Wagner.

Max is to blame: or a self-fulfilling prophecy
The world-famous bass-baritone Bernd Weikl makes his literary debut

Cosima Wagner and Ludwig Il of Bavaria: Letters: An astonishing correspondence
The well-known and popular historian and author Martha Schad from Augsburg turns once again to the subject of Wagner..

Musical life in Germany
In this compendium, the German Music Information Centre (MIZ) brings together in 620 pages background knowledge and data on music culture in Germany. In 22 articles, renowned authors from the fields of science, cultural policy and music practice describe the structures and recent developments in musical life

Götterdämmerung in der schönen neuen Welt
A Science fiction novel based on the final part of the Ring Cycle – by Stefan Thiel


New Books in English

The July Edition of the Wagner Journal
… With the usual interesting mixuture of scholarly articles and reviews of productions, CDs and books.

The Only Way is Up – Sir Donald McIntyre has published his memoirs
Sponsored by the Wagner Society New Zealand, this lively account of his singing career by the legendary bass

The Trouble with Wagner by Michael P. Steinberg
University of Chicago Press, 2018 $37.50 Steinberg offers an account of the Wagner bicentennial Ring for La Scala/Staatsoper Berlin along with a reading of psychology, philosophy and history.

Curtain, Gong, Steam: Wagnerian Technologies of 19th Century Opera
By Gundula Kreuzer University of California Press – $55.98. An examination of the intertwined developments of opera as an art form and the technical machines that have brought it to life.


New Books in French

Luc-Henri Roger on Das Rheingold „Les Voyageurs de l’Or du Rhin“
On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the first production of Das Rheingold in Munich, Belgo-German author Luc-Henri Roger has published a new book.
This book will be formally presented by the Wagner Museum Bayreuth on 29 July and will be on sale in the Museum bookshop


5) Perspectives on Wagner productions

The Staatsoper unter den Linden in Berlin will present its current production of Der Ring des Nibelungen for the first time in the renovated opera house. This production was created for the Wagner anniversary in 2013 in cooperation with the Teatro alla Scala and was previously staged in the Schiller Theatre. Conductor – Daniel Barenboim, Director – Guy Cassiers. Among the soloists are: Iréne Theorin, Michael Volle, Andreas Schager, Falk Struckmann, Simon O‘Neill, Anja Kampe and Stephan Rügamer.
Cycle I from 7-15 September, Cycle 2 from 21-29 September
Currently sold out, but keep an eye out for returns.

Deutsche Oper Berlin: A new Ring.:„At the Deutsche Oper Berlin Stefan Herheim is taking on the task of translating the mindset of Wagner’s tetralogy into the 21st century.“ The production will begin with Das Rheingold on 12 June 2020. Conductor Donald Runnicles. The cast includes Derek Welton, Markus Brück, Thomas Blondelle and Annika Schlicht.

Brisbane, Opera Australia
In November/December 2020 a new, fully digital production of the Ring will be staged in Brisbane. The Director will be Shi-Zheng Chen and the conductor has been named as Philippe Auguin . Among the artists performing will be Stefan Vinke, Allison Oakes and Vitalij Kowaljow.

The Royal Opera, Copenhagen will present three semi-staged performances of Tristan und Isolde on 27 October, 3 November and 14 November 2019. Conductor Lothar Koenigs. The title roles will be performed by Ann Petersen and Christopher Ventris.

Vermont Company to stage Tristan this autumn
It’s always exciting when a young company get together to stage Wagner in a local theatre with young singers

Göteborg Opera – Sweden
Between 2018 and 2021, a complete Ring cycle will be staged there for the first time, with the conclusion of the tetralogy coinciding with the celebrations marking the 400th anniversary of the city of Göteborg. Das Rheingold premiered last November.

Staatstheater Kassel, Rheingold
Kassel is forging its new Ring, which will complete in 2020. The premiere of Rheingold took place last September, Walküre premiered in March this year, Siegried
will premiere on 14 September, followed by Götterdämmerung on 7 March 2020

Announcement from Leipzig Opera
Leipzig Opera has announced that it will stage in June andJuly 2022 performances of all 13 works by Richard Wagner in his birthplace in the order of their creation.

Stadttheater Minden
In September last year the Minden Ring concluded with Götterdämmerung. This year there will be two complete cycles between 12 September and 6 October.
Director: Gerd Heinz, Conductor: Frank Beermann

Philharmonie de Paris
Concert version of Parsifal 22 November at 16.30. Conducted by Valery Gergiev


Contact information for your newsletter team:

Andrea Buchanan (English, French, German)
Jacques Bouffier (French, English)
Selma Gudmundsdottir (Icelandic, English, German, Danish, Swedish)
Karl Russwurm (German, English)



Full text in PDF: PDF

Egils Silins sings The Flying Dutchman in a pedestrian tunnel

Showing his support for the renovation of Wagner’s Theatre in Riga, the world famous bass baritone Egils Siliņš sings Dutchman’s Monologue from Wagner’s opera The Flying Dutchman in a pedestrian tunnel.

Directed by – Andrejs Verhoustinskis
Designer – Ineta Sipunova
Sound director – Artis Dukaļskis
Video operators – Andrejs Verhoustinskis, Jēkabs Štelmahers un Dāvids Gržibovskis

Rīgas Riharda Vāgnera biedrība

Web page – https://vagneriga.lv/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/vagneriga/