On July 25, 2019 Tobias Kratzer’s (RING AWARD 08) ground-breaking new production of “Tannhäuser” with stage design by Rainer Sellmaier (RING AWARD 08) opened the Bayreuth Festival to boisterous applause and literally conquered the “green hill”.
“The opening premiere holds a cheerful and profound mirror up to the audience.” (Daniel Ender, Der Standard)
“Director Tobias Kratzer’s Bayreuth debut surprises with an inventive production, where the world of “Sponti” theatre meets Bayreuth’s high culture. Pointed, humorous and touchingly human at the same time. […] A virtuoso self-parody riddled with quotations. Tannhäuser’s outfit shows a reference to Heinrich Böll’s “The Clown”, the short person to Günther Grass’ “The Tin Drum”. The biogas plant of the unloved former Bayreuth “Tannhäuser” is mocked as well as the legendary portrait gallery of conductors in the canteen hallway of the building.” (Bernhard Neuhoff, BR Klassik)
“A lot is different in this new production of the romantic opera “Tannhäuser” as staged by Tobias Kratzer and Rainer Sellmaier, which opened this year’s Wagner Festival. Most notable was the frequent loud laughter in the hall, at least for two acts – an innovation in this noble cultural site. […] If you put aside the at times flamboyant actualizations and breaks of perspective, you realize quickly that all conflicts and configurations of Wagner’s libretto are completely intact and even executed in text-book manner.” (Christian Wildhagen, NZZ)
Here you can find an interview with Tobias Kratzer in German by Süddeutsche Zeitung about his interpretative approach and about how much of Wagner himself can be found in the figure of Tannhäuser.
Photo (c) Bayreuther Festspiele / Enrico Nawrath