In 2013, the music and theatre world everywhere will be especially focused on Richard Wagner in the year marking the 200th anniversary of his birth and the 130th anniversary of his death. The Wagner Year celebrations are centred on the towns of Leipzig, where he was born, and Bayreuth, which is most closely associated with his work, as well as the Bayreuth Festival, which he founded. In honour of this special year, the Bayreuth Festival is further enriched by a broad accompanying programme and a series of special projects.
On 22 May 2013, Christian Thielemann, one of the world’s leading interpreters of Wagner’s works, is conducting the Bayreuth Festival orchestra and an array of outstanding soloists in a programme for the 200th anniversary of Wagner’s birth. This will be followed by a special birthday celebration for all of Wagner's many fans. Wagner’s early works Die Feen (The Fairies), Das Liebesverbot (The Ban on Love) and Rienzi, which are not part of the Festival canon, will be performed at both the Leipzig Opera House and in Bayreuth’s Oberfrankenhalle, which is being redesigned especially for this event. This ambitious project has been made possible through the support of dedicated sponsors and the cities of Bayreuth and Leipzig, who have played their part in ensuring that these rarely played works are made accessible to the general public. In addition, a series of selected projects offer the chance for Wagner fans to explore the many different facets of the man and his works.
‘From Leipzig to Bayreuth’ highlights both Richard Wagner’s career and the idea behind the cooperation between these two cities. The Bayreuth Festival, Oper Leipzig and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig are outstanding partners for the project of bringing Wagner’s early works back to the stage. Moreover, Leipzig and Bayreuth are the two cities marking the starting point and zenith of the trajectory of Richard Wagner’s artistic development.
Die Feen (The Fairies) will be performed in Leipzig on 16 February 2013 as the first premiere from the series of Wagner’s early works. The series will be completed by the two premieres of Rienzi and Das Liebesverbot (The Ban on Love) in Bayreuth. From 7 to 14 July 2013, Bayreuth is showcasing Rienzi, Das Liebesverbot and a concert performance of Die Feen. In this cooperation between Wagner’s birthplace and Bayreuth, the town most closely associated with him, Das Liebesverbot will also be premiered in Leipzig in the 2013/14 season after its premiere in Bayreuth.