Baptism of Fire - Katharina Wagners Feuertaufe

Arthaus Musik: 101478

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Baptism of Fire - Katharina Wagners Feuertaufe


Gramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - December 2009

Catalogue No:

(101 478)



Release date:

1st Sept 2009




DVD Video




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Baptism of Fire - Katharina Wagners Feuertaufe

A film by Dagmar Krauss

DVD Video


In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg von Richard Wagner.

The genesis of a Bayreuth production Das Entstehen einer Bayreuth-Inszenierung.

The film documents the genesis of the new production of Wagner’s “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg” in Bayreuth. In 2007, Katharina Wagner made her directing debut at the Bayreuth Festival – a debut unlike any other. For Katharina Wagner is none other than the great-granddaughter of Richard Wagner, the daughter of the long-time Bayreuth patriarch Wolfgang Wagner, and, in his eyes at least, his sole possible successor as head of the Bayreuth Festival. Rarely was the musical world’s attention focused on one opera production as on this staging of “Die Meistersinger”. For eight months, Dagmar Krauss accompanied Katharina Wagner and her team, filming them in candid moments and revealing the inner workings of the Bayreuth Festival such as we have never seen before. Balancing the spontaneity of the roving camera are interviews and statements by singers and theatre employees, as well as by director colleagues such as Christoph Schlingensief and conductors such as Christian Thielemann. As we witness the development of the production concept, we, too, are drawn into the excitement leading to the premiere on 25 July 2007. The film paints the impressive portrait of a gifted, self-controlled, no-nonsense young woman who tackles a work that has stumped many an older and more experienced colleague and endows it with a new, contemporary, controversial message. She cunningly holds up a mirror to the festival public, both the traditional-minded, long-standing Wagnerians as well as the younger opera lovers who demand more risk and innovation. She offers a wealth of surprising views on art in general, demands that one take a stance, and even thematizes her own situation as potential head of the Bayreuth Festival.

Sound Format: DD 5.1 (German), DD 5.1 (English)

Picture Format: 16:9

DVD Format: DVD 9, PAL

Running Time: 82 mins

FSK: 12

Region Code: 2

Gramophone Magazine

December 2009

“Katharina, Wagner's great granddaughter, is now, with her half-sister Eva, co-chief of the Bayreuth Festival. This documentary was made in 2007 about rehearsals for her festival production of Die Meistersinger - which was, effectively, an audition for that directorship, as well as being the first time since 1953 that a new member of the Wagner family had staged a Bayreuth show. Dagmar Krauss's film, fluently shot and edited, shows the rehearsal process director's introductory talk to the cast to first-nigh reception. ...the decision to focus, in some detail, on the solving of production issues and problems - rather than the usual happy-clappy feigned bonhomie of rehearsal footage - makes the DVD valuable. This is an informative, pacy introduction to production work in progress.”

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