More scenes from the Wagner festival in Bayreuth. Opening day is not only a major event in German music but a minor media sensation: celebrities from entertainment and politics enter along an Oscar-style red carpet. I didn't recognize most of these people, but there were appreciative murmurs from the crowd when each appeared ("Beckstein! Beckstein!").
According to this sign, Poles love Wagner:
Well-dressed Wagnerphiles aren't above gawking:
Camera crews corner operagoers for on-the-spot reviews of Act I:
The traditional brass fanfare, consisting of a short phrase from the evening's opera, summons the crowd back to their hard-backed wooden seats:
At a press conference the following morning, Christoph Schlingensief defends his production while Wolfgang Wagner, the festival director, looks on in a bemused state.
Wagner responds to a question about Endrik Wottrich, singer of the title role, who publicly disavowed Schlingensief's conception three days before the premiere. The Wagner Grandson, as he is called in the media, defends the right of artistic expression.
A drunken German is ranting anti-American slogans at me in the cafe where I am typing, so I will beat a tactical retreat and finish the travelogue tomorrow.