Last snapshots from my expedition to the Richard Wagner Festspiel. The tale of Parsifal continues to generate heat in the German press: director Christoph Schlingensief responded to lead tenor Endrik Wottrich's denunciation of the production by calling Wottrich a racist and a Nazi, whereupon Wottrich responded by calling Schlingensief a worse racist and a worse Nazi. I enjoyed ionarts' wrapup of contradictory reports of the premiere, variously suggesting that 1) there was a huge amount of booing, with smatterings of applause; 2) there was loud booing, balanced by loud applause; 3) there was some booing, quickly drowned out by applause; and 4) there was no booing at all. Take it from me: 1) is correct. I looked around the hall and saw no more than one-third of the audience applauding, probably more like one-fourth. How it was that this apparently disastrous evening became a "success" in the German press is something I will discuss in the New Yorker next week.
Here is one more shot of the red carpet spectacle on Sunday, and it seems to sum up modern Germany in a single frame:
In the city, statues of Wagner's dog Russ are ubiquitous:
Pierre Boulez at lunch (I am not a good paparazzo):
Dark trombones at the Tannhäuser intermission:
Choristers take a cigarette break:
Storms passed, the Festspielhaus is again at peace: