Bayreuth Festival Tickets
Inspired by the 19th-century composer, Richard Wagner, the Bayreuth Festival is an annual display of world-class opera and classical music. Performances take place at the Bayreuth Festspielhaus in Bayreuth, Germany where more than 62,000 guests visit and enjoy the festival. The festival runs from July to August with sell-out performances each year. Secure your Bayreuth Festival Tickets for this year’s events!
Bayreuther Festspiele (German)
August 13, 1876
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About Bayreuth Festival
The Bayreuth Festival is an annual event at a dedicated theatre created by Richard Wagner in the 1870s. Each year, sold-out performances attract an audience of more than 62,000 people from around the world.
Bayreuth Festival History
The inspiration for the Bayreuth Festival is rooted in Richard Wagner’s desire to become a financially independent composer. When relations with his patron, Ludwig II of Bavaria, fell apart, this led to Wagner’s expulsion from Munich.
Wagner considered creating the festival in Nuremberg using the thematic style of his works such as Die Meistersinger. However, advice from Hans Richter led to Bayreuth being the most advantageous location for three reasons.
- The town of Bayreuth had a stunning venue: the
Markgräfliches Opernhaus. This historic opera house was built for Margrave
Frederick and his wife, Friedrick Sophie Wilhelmine, who was the sister of
Frederick the Great, in 1774.
- Wagner sold the rights to his works in 1864 to
alleviate the financial pressures he was having. However, the town of
Bayreuth was located outside of the region where Wagner didn’t own rights
to his works, making it possible to use his pieces for financial gain.
- There was no competition or cultural influence
that could interfere with Wagner’s artistic style and dominance. Opening
the festival in Bayreuth gave it a distinct competitive advantage at a
time when classical music and opera were in popular demand.
Unfortunately, when Wagner inspected Bayreuth to bring his vision for the festival to life, he was disappointed by the inadequate opera house available. Wagner required an opera house capable of accommodating his complex staging and large orchestras.
After establishing numerous Wagner Societies in places like Leipzig, Berlin, and Vienna, Wagner slowly accumulated the money needed to start the festival. It took almost 6 years before Wagner obtained enough funds the construct the opera house suitable for his works.
The Bayreuth Festival’s inauguration took place on August 13, 1876, with a performance of Beethoven’s “Choral” Symphony. This performance has been the tradition played at the opened ever since and the festival itself has become a socio-cultural phenomenon.
Bayreuth Before & After WWII
The city of Bayreuth endured significant bombings when Americans fought off the Nazis during the end of the war. Fortunately, the opera house was undamaged.
After the war, Winifred Wagner was convicted of supporting the Nazi party and sentenced to probation. The court banned her from the administration of the Bayreuth Festival as well as its assets. Her two sons, Wolfgang and Wieland, took over the administration of the festival.
When the Americans were occupying the region, the opera house was used to provide recreation and religious services for American soldiers. Performances involved comedy, dancing, and acrobatics.
The Festival House was returned to the city of Bayreuth in 1946 however the festival wasn’t reopened until 1951. When the festival finally reopened, they once again performed Beethoven’s Symphony, in celebration of its origins and tribute to Wagner.
Bayreuth Festival Popularity
In recent years, the artistically creative and impressive performances at the Bayreuth Festival attracts tens of thousands of people from across the globe. Bayreuth Festival tickets often sell out fast and it is advised to get tickets well in advance to secure seating. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to attend this historic festival. Book your Bayreuth Festival tickets online with Ticket Finder’s secure booking system and 100% guarantee.
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Other Classical Tickets
Not visiting Germany? Check out the latest tickets for the Royal Opera House, Bavarian State Opera, Salzburg Festival or browse all Classical Concert Tickets.
Richard Wagner was born on May 22, 1813, in Leipzig, Germany. His father, Friedrich Wagner, died six months after his birth, and his mother, Johanna, married Ludwig Geyer, an actor and painter. Geyer became a father figure to Wagner, and his love for the theater influenced the young Wagner's interest in music and drama.
Wagner's early musical training was somewhat haphazard. He learned to play the piano and violin, and studied music theory, but his formal education was disrupted by his family's frequent moves. Nevertheless, he developed a deep passion for music, and by his late teens he was composing his own works.
In 1833, Wagner enrolled in the University of Leipzig, but he was more interested in music than academics, and he soon dropped out. He took a job as a conductor in Würzburg, and in 1836 he married his first wife, Minna Planer. The couple had a tumultuous relationship, but Minna was a great supporter of Wagner's music and career.
Throughout the 1830s and 1840s, Wagner composed a number of operas and other works, but he struggled to gain recognition and financial stability. He also became increasingly interested in political and philosophical ideas, particularly the concept of a German national identity and the role of art in society.
In 1849, Wagner was involved in the Dresden uprising, a failed attempt to overthrow the local government. He fled to Switzerland to escape arrest, and spent the next decade in exile. During this time, he wrote some of his most important works, including the epic four-opera cycle "Der Ring des Nibelungen" ("The Ring of the Nibelung").
Wagner's music and ideas were controversial, and he had many detractors as well as admirers. His anti-Semitic views and association with German nationalism made him a divisive figure, and his personal life was often scandalous. Nevertheless, his influence on Western classical music was profound, and his works continue to be performed and studied around the world.
Wagner died on February 13, 1883, in Venice, Italy. His legacy as one of the most important composers in the history of Western music is secure, but his life and work remain the subject of ongoing debate and discussion.
Bayreuth is a beautiful town in the state of Bavaria, Germany, known for its rich cultural heritage, historic architecture, and scenic surroundings. Here are some of the top tourist attractions near Bayreuth:
- Margravial Opera House: This stunning Baroque-style opera house was built in the mid-18th century and is considered one of the most beautiful theaters in Europe.
- Eremitage: This picturesque park and palace complex located on the outskirts of Bayreuth is a popular tourist destination, known for its lovely gardens, fountains, and historical buildings.
- Bayreuth Festspielhaus: This world-renowned opera house was built in the 19th century and is home to the annual Bayreuth Festival, which showcases the works of Richard Wagner.
- Bayreuther Bierbrauerei: This local brewery is famous for its delicious beer and offers tours and tastings for visitors.
- Jean-Paul-Museum: This museum is dedicated to the life and works of the German author Jean Paul, who lived in Bayreuth during the 18th century.
- Richard Wagner Museum: This museum is dedicated to the life and works of the composer Richard Wagner and contains a vast collection of artifacts, manuscripts, and other memorabilia.
- Hermit's Cave: This natural grotto located in the nearby town of Sanspareil is a popular hiking destination and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
- Fichtelgebirge Nature Park: This large nature reserve is located just a short drive from Bayreuth and offers visitors the chance to explore a diverse range of habitats, including forests, meadows, and mountain peaks.
- Franconian Switzerland: This scenic region located to the east of Bayreuth is known for its stunning landscapes, quaint villages, and historic castles.
- Pottenstein: This picturesque town located in Franconian Switzerland is known for its charming half-timbered houses, traditional Bavarian cuisine, and beautiful natural surroundings.