Bayreuth and Prospect
Organised Opera and Music Holidays
For thirty years Prospect organised Music Tours, covering all of the UK and European Cities and Festivals, Paris, Berlin, Salzburg, Vienna, Venice, Milan, Drottningholm and others more distant like Manaus, Music on River Cruises on the Danube, Elbe, the Po, on the seas, the Baltic, Mediterranean. But one prize escaped us. Opera at Wagner’s Bayreuth Festival.
Then one day ten years ago we were offered tickets and since then we have arranged for many people to travel with us to this renowned Festival. We have now outrun two versions of the Ring and await the third in 2020. We have also offered the other operas many times, Parsifal, Lohengrin, Tristan and Isolde, Meistersingers, Tannhauser, and the Flying Dutchman.
This year, now the current Ring has ended, we are proposing Parsifal and the Flying Dutchman.
Come to Bayreuth in 2018
A good year to come
The Flying Dutchman, one from the end of Wagner’s career and the other his first significant success. Parsifal is the only opera that was designed to be heard in the Festspielhaus, where it was performed in 1882. Performances were restricted and permissions not given until the copyright ran out in 1914. It has, therefore, a particularly strong association with the theatre. Both benefit from the exceptional quality of music playing at Bayreuth and the unsurpassed quality of the choral singing.
Because we buy direct from the Festspielhouse, without intermediaries, we are able to offer three nights in Bayreuth from 6—9 August 2018, including accommodation and good tickets for £1,950. This offer has to close on 18 October 2017.
The choice of Bayreuth
Wagner chose the small town of Bayreuth to build his opera house as part of his plan to focus attention on the performance and avoid distractions for the audience. In order to visit Bayreuth people will need to have planned well in advance, to travel quite long distances, to leave behind their business interests and domestic considerations. There are no rival performances within any reachable distance.
To enhance the isolation further the Festspielhaus is built on a small hill a mile outside the town, inviting people to ascend on foot, for the same purpose as other shrines, to give time for meditation, calm and tranquility.
The Festspielhaus is built austerely in the form of a Greek Theatre, giving good sightlines to all; the orchestral sound is reflected off a canopy that covers the orchestra; attention is focused on the sound and the stage, and not distracted by the orchestral players. The sound is diffused evenly through the auditorium. The lights are dimmed to darkness for the start of the opera. There is no space within the theatre for ostentatious display.
Coming to Bayreuth is to follow the path of all the people who have come over the years. Many of the rituals, such as the starting times, the length of the intervals, the fanfares of themes from the opera perfomed before each part of the opera, originated with Wagner.
The Town of Bayreuth
Benefits from the grand buildings built by Wilhemina, the daughter of Frederick the Great, and her husband in the 18th century. The old theatre is one of the finest in Germany, the Italian wing of the New Palace, recently reopened after a thirty year restoration, is an exceptional Baroque delight. There are the houses of Liszt and Wagner, both interesting museums.