A Wagnerian Treat for Children: Tannhäuser

Anthony Tommasini reports from Bayreuth:

There is a general and well-founded perception of the Bayreuth Festival as an elitist stronghold for opera, as much a shrine to Wagner as a festival of his works. And there is no ticket harder to come by. Wagner lovers wait an average of 10 years to get a coveted ticket to the Festspielhaus, which seats only about 2,000.

The new co-directors of the festival, Eva Wagner-Pasquier and Katharina Wagner, who are half-sisters (and Richard Wagner’s great-granddaughters), are determined to make it more people-friendly and open. On Tuesday afternoon, a couple of hours before Lohengrin began at the main house, the festival presented the last of 10 performances of this summer’s Wagner for Children offering: a 70-minute, irreverent and charming production of Tannhäuser, directed by Reyna Bruns. It took place in one of the rehearsal halls for an audience of roughly 200 people, mostly children, including many very young ones.

(Source: New York Times)

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