Summer 2018

In addition to this official meeting, you will have an opportunity to renew acquaintances or to get to know other Members and strike up conversations at our series of “Friends meet Friends” and “Digestif” events.

Öffnungszeiten während der Festspiele
Please note our information concerning the security measures in this summer 2016

The Friends of Bayreuth present this year Sven Friedrich’s introductory lectures relating to that day’s production. They take place in the auditorium of the Festspielhaus at 10.30 a.m. on every performance day. The entry ticket for the evening’s performance entitles the holder to free admission. It is unfortunately not possible to reserve seats in advance. Admission to the introductory lectures is from the West side (road side).  Explanations by Sven Friedrich on the current productions are also available in the video archives in the members-only section of our website


24th July• 7 p. m.

Auftakt unter Freunden • Curtain up among Friends • Lever de rideau entre Amis
••• Walhall Lounge
On the evening before the Bay­reuth Festival, we shall be inviting you to open the Festival Summer together with the Friends on the Grüner Hügel. We shall be welcoming you from 7 p. m. on, among apple and plum trees in the garden of the Walhall Lounge. It will be an informal get-together when you will have the chance to set eyes on the Festspielhaus for the first time this year, to celebrate your arrival in Bay­reuth with a glass of fine wine and fingerfood, to put yourself in the Festival mood, meet old friends and make new ones. We look forward to seeing you again there.

27th July• 10 a. m.
69. Mitgliederversammlung der Gesellschaft der Freunde von Bayreuth e. V.
General Meeting • Assemblée générale
••• Steigenberger Festspielrestaurant
••• Sind Sie auch Freund?
••• You can watch the Meeting then in the video archives in the members-only section of our website.

28th July• 10:30 p. m.
Digestif »Meistersinger« ••• Ring Lounge

30th July• 11:00 a. m.
Holländer-Brunch ••• Ring Lounge
A new event this year is our “Holländer Brunch” in the Ring Lounge. On three days, you will have an opportunity from 11 a. m. to 1 p. m. to get to know other members over a relaxed late breakfast. At the same time, we should like to join you in a look behind the scenes of the Festspielhaus where possible. It will be a surprise to see what doors we can walk through and what corridors we can explore.

2d August• 9:30 p. m.
Digestif »Lohengrin« ••• Ring Lounge

5th August• 10:30 a. m.
Freunde treffen Freunde • Friends meet Friends • À la rencontre des amis
••• Klaviermanufaktur Steingraeber
What actually makes… the work in the mystic abyss so special? • A conversation with Axel Kober
Strings swapping places, and wind instruments positioned differently, the special seating arrangements in the Bayreuth pit; sweets for the double bass players or the famous clarinet grille; a subterranean corridor for the conductor, and musicians in shorts; the covered pit, the delayed sound and the acoustic sails… There are many stories, anecdotes, myths and peculiarities that circle around the “mystic abyss” in the Festspielhaus. Axel Kober conducted “Tannhäuser” and will be on the podium for “Der fliegende Holländer” this year.

7th August• 11:00 a. m.
Holländer-Brunch ••• Ring Lounge

8th August• 10:00 p. m.
Digestif »Parsifal« ••• Ring Lounge

11th August• 10:30 a. m.
Freunde treffen Freunde • Friends meet Friends • À la rencontre des amis
••• Klaviermanufaktur Steingraeber
What actually makes… …the Bayreuth Festival chorus so unique? • A conversation with Eberhard Friedrich The Bayreuth Festival chorus is world-famous for its sound and has won many prizes for it. Year after year, more than a hundred individual voices have to be moulded into a homogeneous sound that entrances the audience both in the powerful outbreaks and in the breathtakingly beautiful quiet passages. Our Chorus Director Eberhard Friedrich has been responsible for the harmony of the “Bayreuth chorus miracle” since 2000. 

13th August• 10:00 p. m.
Digestif »Tristan« ••• Ring Lounge

18th August• 6:00 p. m.
Direktoren-Führung •
Director’s guided tour • Visite guidée du directeur
••• Haus Wahnfried
When the doors to Haus Wahnfried close to visitors, we shall be opening the same doors for the Friends. Join us on 18th August for a visit to the Richard Wagner Museum and let Museum Director Dr. Sven Friedrich give us a knowledgeable insight into the three museum buildings. We should like to begin the evening with you over a drink in the museum café. A cover charge of 15 euros will be charged to defray the costs of the Director’s guided tour. We would advise you to sign up in good time, because numbers are limited.

19th August• 10:30 a. m.
Freunde treffen Freunde • Friends meet Friends • À la rencontre des amis
••• Klaviermanufaktur Steingraeber
What actually makes… the work behind the scenes so fascinating? • A conversation with Christoph Bauch When Meistersingers clamber out of a grand piano, tropical rain falls on the stage, when grassy landscapes float up to the flies, when cardboard mountains turn round in circles or staircases fold down, when “Lohengrin” becomes “Parsifal” in only one night or when the precise shade of blue is important, all the threads come together with Christoph Bauch and his team. As the Technical Director, he is responsible for the planning and smooth runn­ing of the invisible “Festspielhaus machinery”. 

22th August• 11:00
Holländer-Brunch ••• Ring Lounge

25th August• 10:30 a. m.
Freunde treffen Freunde • Friends meet Friends • À la rencontre des amis
••• Klaviermanufaktur Steingraeber
What actually makes… Bayreuth a place between a Baroque world theatre and a Bühnenweihfestspiel? • A conversation with Oliver Zeidler Our last discussion session is concerned with the “Theatrum Mundi, theatre as a mirror of the world”. In Bayreuth, two fundamentally different world views are translated into architecture with the Markgräfliches Opernhaus and the Festspiel­haus. Opera and the opera house as a courtly event in praise of God and as a means of preserving power on the one hand. On the other hand the Gesamtkunstwerk with the aim of creating an “aesthetic world order”. Theatre is world is theatre. A tour de force covering three hundred years, which does not end in what has become a boundless, virtual world of multiple roles and profiles. 

26th August• 8:15 p. m.
Digestif »Holländer« ••• Ring Lounge