The operas of Wagner are dispensed like a musical Eucharist to Wagnerian pilgrims at the Festspielhaus, the opera house he built with the backing of King Ludwig II of Bavaria. Tickets to the Richard Wagner opera festival held in this huge hall, one of the largest opera houses in Europe, are almost impossible to obtain; there’s an 8-year waiting list. You may, however, visit the theater on guided tours (in German) and see the huge stage capable of swallowing up Valhalla and all sorts of other innovations meant to make good Wagner’s promise to fans, upon laying the cornerstone in 1872, that “they’d see the “unveiling and clear presentation of onstage images that will seem to rise up before you from an ideal world of dreams and reveal to you the whole reality of a noble art’s most meaningful illusion.” Productions have been a family affair almost ever since the epic 15-hour “Ring” cycle was first presented here in 1876: When the composer died in Venice, his wife, Cosima, took over, and his grandsons, Wolfgang and Wieland, have produced the operas in the post-World War II years.
Am Festspielhügel 1–2
Our Rating Hours Sept–May Tues–Sun at 10 and 2pm Transportation Bus: 305 Phone 0921/78780 Prices Guided tour 5€ Web site Festspielhaus Other Tours offered in German only; English leaflets are available. Tours may not be given during rehearsals or at festival time
MapAm Festspielhügel 1–2 Bayreuth
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.