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Culture

Bayreuth eyes Wim Wenders to direct Wagner's Ring cycle

Wim Wenders and organizers of the Bayreuth Festival are engaged in talks for the renowned German filmmaker to direct "The Ring of the Nibelungen" in two years time. It will be the 200th anniversary of Wagner's birth.

Wim Wenders gestures with his hands while speaking

Wenders may give direction at the 2013 Ring cycle

In what would be his operatic debut, negotiations are underway for German filmmaker Wim Wenders to direct "The Ring of the Nibelungen" at the 2013 Bayreuth Festival.

Wenders is rumored to pair up with Russian conductor Kirill Petrenko for the festival that marks the 200th anniversary of Richard Wagner's birth.

"It's true, talks are underway, but no contracts have been signed," Peter Emmerich, the Bayreuth Festival's spokesperson, confirmed Friday.

"Anyone who has seen his films recognizes instantly that he cultivates a special visual language and that music plays an important role in his films," Emmerich added.

Ring director wanted, no experience necessary

Festival Director Katharina Wagner said she thought Wenders would take the lead in two years time.

"I am convinced that we will reach an agreement," she told the daily Die Welt on Friday.

Wagner said she and the other festival organizers were aiming to find a well-known, intelligent director with new ideas when it came to Wagner and were not necessarily looking for someone with extensive operatic experience.

"We have viewed him as extremely interested and educated when it comes to theater and opera," she said.

Montage showing a Wagner bust and the Bayreuth Opera

Bayreuth, and several other operas, will celebrate Wagner's 200th birthday with a Ring production

Ominous importance

Peter Papst could serve as stage director, though Emmerich said talks with him have also not been finalized as all the participants were aware of the importance that will be lent to the festival celebrating Wagner's 200th birthday.

"It's almost an ominously important date - almost to the point of receiving an inordinate amount of attention," Emmerich said. "That is one of the hurdles for everyone."

Wenders is among Germany's most renowned directors. The 65-year-old has directed a total of over 50 feature and short films - some of his most well-known works include "Buena Vista Social Club," "Wings of Desire," "The American Friend" and "Paris, Texas."

Author: Sean Sinico (dpa, AP)

Editor: Cyrus Farivar

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