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- (Disc 1)

Year of Production: 2008
Playing Time: 01:29:30
Catalogue Number: A05512343

Nowhere in the world is the myth of Wagner as alive as in Bayreuth, and nowhere are performances of his works followed as closely as those at the Festspielhaus in Bayreuth. But after a decade-long reign as the uncontested ruler of the Wagner Festival, the composer's grandson Wolfgang Wagner has stepped down from his post. A new era is about to begin...

This documentary thematizes the past, present and future of the festival and provides rare insights behind the scenes of the Wagner "workshop." For the first time ever, the film team was able to record in the legendary Bayreuth orchestra pit, giving rise to stunningly candid shots of conductor Christian Thielemann rehearsing Götterdämmerung. A conversation with Wolfgang Wagner recorded especially for this production is presumably the patriarch's last appearance on film as head of the festival. The program also features rehearsals of the new 2008 production of Parsifal with director Stefan Herheim and conductor Daniele Gatti. Members of the Wagner family and leading Wagner interpreters of our time also comment on the unique Wagner aura. The authors have assembled an amazing collection of historical film material and photos on the history of the festival. There are also excerpts from great productions recorded by Unitel starting in the 1970s.

Bayreuth - From Myth to Modernity also describes the collapse of a world order: the twilight of the gods depicted in Götterdämmerung is a powerful symbol in the canon of the Bayreuth Festival. Wagnerians of today, however, look confidently toward the future and see in Bayreuth less a twilight than a dawn - the dawn of a new leadership, a new artistic direction, a new era with Wolfgang Wagner's daughters Eva Wagner-Pasquier and Katharina Wagner.

Part 1

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