Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Using a foolhardy travel schedule that left no room for error, I arrived at Bayreuth on Sunday at noon & found myself climbing the Grüner Hügel for the afternoon performance of Lohengrin barely 24 hours after leaving San Francisco.

I'm staying at a hotel conveniently located 2 blocks from the train station, just a 17 minute walk to the Festspielhaus.

The path is also helpfully marked with Wagner Walk stencils.

Midget Wagner statues are scattered around the grounds of the Festspielhaus. Though an abomination, they are irresistible photo ops for visitors.

The theater has no lobby, so attendees mill around outside before the performance & during the breaks. I'm really grateful that so far the weather has not been too hot. The exterior is being renovated & is actually covered by huge photographs. From a distance it's not obvious that this is not the real facade.

2013 is Wagner's 200th birthday, so one feels especially lucky to be at the festival this year. Even Die Oper Tatlerin has graced the festival with her presence. Here she is posing in front of one of the giant photographs hiding the exterior renovations. You can tell she's ready to hear Lohengrin because she's wearing a brooch with a picture of a swan.

Brass fanfares call the audience into the theater at 15, 10 & 5 minutes to curtain.

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