A festival steeped in tradition tests new waters, opens up to the future and increasingly reveals the past. Richard Wagner continues to excite, polarize and generate debate. Here are the highlights of the 2012 season.
The 101st Richard Wagner Festival in Bayreuth opened on July 25, 2012 with a new production of "The Flying Dutchman" under the musical direction of Christian Thielemann, with stage direction by Jan Philipp Gloger. South Korean bass-baritone Samuel Youn gave his debut on the "Green Hill" in the title role. Until August 28, Wagnerians bumped shoulders with political, cultural and business celebrities at the festival that presents only works by Richard Wagner. And once again, the Bayreuth Festival gave special attention to youth, with the "Wagner for Children" project staging a version of "The Mastersingers of Nuremberg" for younger audiences. As in every year, there was a great deal of discussion about the future of the festival.