This brand new DVD from the acclaimed director Tony Palmer tells the controversial story of the Wagner family. It was originally broadcast in September 2009 on ITV1 as one of the final programmes of The South Bank Show and is now being made available in an extended version.
This is a film about a family, a family which has ruled the theatre in Bayreuth in southern Germany for the last 140 years, some say still the greatest theatre in the world. There's no doubt that Richard Wagner who built it was the most influential composer in the whole of the 19th Century. But his family has survived a mixture of lies, deception, fraud and dangerous political alliances. The story of this family is a soap opera that makes Coronation Street look like Noddy-in-Toyland. It’s a family – in many ways the Royal family of Germany – at war with itself.
“Last night's The Wagner Family was a reminder that whatever else, The South Bank Show always gave office space to one of the era's best art documentary-makers, Tony Palmer.” Andrew Billen, The Times
“No-one makes better films about musicians than Tony Palmer.” David Chater, The Times