|Established||24 July 1976|
|Founder||Richard Wagner Foundation|
|Director||Dr Sven Friedrich|
|Architect||Carl Wölfel after Wilhelm Neumann|
|Owner||City of Bayreuth|
|Public transit access||Bus: Number 302 and 307, “Haus Wahnfried“ bus stop|
|Nearest car park||P6 (city hall Stadthalle/Am Geißmarkt) and P7 (multi-storey carpark in Badstrasse)|
Wahnfried was the name given by Richard Wagner to his villa in Bayreuth. Wahn (delusion, madness) and Fried(e) (peace, freedom).The name is a German compound of
Financed by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, the house was constructed from 1872 to 1874 under Bayreuth Carl Wölfel's supervision after plans from Berlin architect Wilhelm Neumann, the plans being altered according to some ideas of Wagner. He and his family moved in on 28 April 1874, Hier wo mein Wähnen Frieden fand – Wahnfried – sei dieses Haus von mir benannt ("Here where my delusions have found peace, let this place be named Wahnfried"), which initially caused some amusement among local townsfolk.while the house was still under construction. Engraved across the portal is Wagner's motto:
Wagner did not spend the closing days of his life at Wahnfried, leaving Bayreuth on 6 September 1882 for the sixth and final time for Venice, where he resided until his death 13 February 1883 at the Palazzo Vendramin-Calergi. Wagner's body was repatriated to Wahnfried in a public procession through Bayreuth on 18 February,and his grave lies next to that of his wife, Cosima on its grounds.
Leading up to and during World War II, the Bayreuth Festspielhaus and Wahnfried were frequently visited by Adolf Hitler,himself an avid admirer of Wagner, but in 1945 the living room with its rotunda and the guest room located on the side and rear of the house were destroyed by allied bombing, along with two-thirds of the rest of Bayreuth. Books, paintings and archives had been secured beforehand in the basement of the Winifred Wagner Hospital, however a Gestapo official stopped Winifred from removing historic furnishings such as Wagner's writing desk, accusing her of "defeatism". As a result, these were later destroyed in the bombing.
From 1949, after expropriation was lifted on the Festspielhaus, Richard Wagner's grandson Wieland Wagner, with his wife and their four children, returned to live in the habitable part of the hastily repaired Wahnfried, while Winifred lived at her late husband, Siegfried Wagner's house next door. Upon Wieland's death in 1966, Wahnfried ceased to be a dwelling, after Wieland's brother, Wolfgang Wagner, had the house measured and asked his widow, Gertrud (née Reissinger), to pay rent,thereby forcing her to move out with her children. From 1953, Wolfgang had been settled in a house built on the edge of the Festpielhaus, with Winifred remaining in Siegfried's house until her death in 1980.
In 1973, Wolfgang and Winifred gifted Wahnfried to the city of Bayreuth. Over the next three years, the war- and weather-damaged parts of the house were restored to their original state with the recreation of the rotunda, salon and guest room, so that the official inauguration of the Richard Wagner Museum in Bayreuth was able to go ahead as planned on July 24, 1976.
A stylized version of Villa Wahnfried was used for the sets of Stefan Herheim's new production of Parsifal at the Bayreuth Festival in 2008.
The house was closed again in 2010 for extensive restoration and renovation at a cost of 20 million Euros. On 26 July 2015, there was a grand re-opening of the villa, with archive rooms and a new pavilion.
Along with the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, Wahnfried has become a shrine for admirers of Wagner. Visitors can take a walk in the remote Hofgarten, the baroque park of Bayreuth's New Castle, to where a path directly leads.
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Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, theatre director, polemicist, and conductor who is chiefly known for his operas. Unlike most opera composers, Wagner wrote both the libretto and the music for each of his stage works. Initially establishing his reputation as a composer of works in the romantic vein of Carl Maria von Weber and Giacomo Meyerbeer, Wagner revolutionised opera through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk, by which he sought to synthesise the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts, with music subsidiary to drama. He described this vision in a series of essays published between 1849 and 1852. Wagner realised these ideas most fully in the first half of the four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen.
Bayreuth is a town in northern Bavaria, Germany, on the Red Main river in a valley between the Franconian Jura and the Fichtelgebirge Mountains. The town's roots date back to 1194. In the 21st century, it is the capital of Upper Franconia and has a population of 72,148 (2015). It hosts the annual Bayreuth Festival, at which performances of operas by the 19th-century German composer Richard Wagner are presented.
Winifred Marjorie Wagner was the English-born wife of Siegfried Wagner, the son of Richard Wagner, and ran the Bayreuth Festival after her husband's death in 1930 until the end of World War II in 1945. She was a friend and supporter of Adolf Hitler, himself a Wagner enthusiast, and she and Hitler maintained a regular correspondence.
The Bayreuth Festival is a music festival held annually in Bayreuth, Germany, at which performances of operas by the 19th-century German composer Richard Wagner are presented. Wagner himself conceived and promoted the idea of a special festival to showcase his own works, in particular his monumental cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen and Parsifal.
Francesca Gaetana Cosima Wagner was the daughter of the Hungarian composer and pianist Franz Liszt and Franco-German romantic author Marie d'Agoult. She became the second wife of the German composer Richard Wagner, and with him founded the Bayreuth Festival as a showcase for his stage works; after his death she devoted the rest of her life to the promotion of his music and philosophy. Commentators have recognised Cosima as the principal inspiration for Wagner's later works, particularly Parsifal.
Siegfried Helferich Richard Wagner was a German composer and conductor, the son of Richard Wagner. He was an opera composer and the artistic director of the Bayreuth Festival from 1908 to 1930.
The Bayreuth Circle was a name originally applied by some writers to devotees of Richard Wagner's music who attended and supported the annual Bayreuth Festival in the later 19th and early twentieth centuries. As some of these devotees espoused nationalistic German politics, and some of them were supporters of Adolf Hitler from the 1920s onwards, this group of people has been associated by some writers with the rise of Nazism.
Wolfgang Wagner was a German opera director. He is best known as the director (Festspielleiter) of the Bayreuth Festival, a position he initially assumed alongside his brother Wieland in 1951 until the latter's death in 1966. From then on, he assumed total control until he retired in 2008, although many of the productions which he commissioned were severely criticized in their day. He had been plagued by family conflicts and criticism for many years. He was the son of Siegfried Wagner, who was the son of Richard Wagner, and the great-grandson of Franz Liszt.
Wieland Wagner was a German opera director, grandson of Richard Wagner. As co-director of the Bayreuth Festival when it re-opened after World War II, he was noted for innovative new stagings of the operas, departing from the naturalistic scenery and lighting of the originals. His wartime involvement in the development of the V-2 rocket was kept secret for many years.
Karl Eduard Maria Elmendorff was a German opera conductor.
Friedelind Wagner was the elder daughter of German opera composer Siegfried Wagner and his English wife, Winifred Williams and the granddaughter of the composer Richard Wagner. She was also the great-granddaughter of the composer Franz Liszt.
The German composer Richard Wagner was a controversial figure during his lifetime, and has continued to be so after his death. Even today he is associated in the minds of many with Nazism and his operas are often thought to extol the virtues of German nationalism. The writer and Wagner scholar Bryan Magee has written:
I sometimes think there are two Wagners in our culture, almost unrecognizably different from one another: the Wagner possessed by those who know his work, and the Wagner imagined by those who know him only by name and reputation.
The family of the composer Richard Wagner:
The Bayreuth canon consists of those operas by the German composer Richard Wagner (1813–1883) that have been performed at the Bayreuth Festival. The festival, which is dedicated to the staging of these works, was founded by Wagner in 1876 in the Bavarian town of Bayreuth, and has continued under the directorship of his family since his death. Although it was not originally held annually, it has taken place in July and August every year since the 75th anniversary season in 1951. Its venue is the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, which was built for the first festival. Attendance at the festival is often thought of as a pilgrimage made by Wagner aficionados.
Wagner is a 1983 television miniseries on the life of Richard Wagner with Richard Burton in the title role. It was directed by Tony Palmer and written by Charles Wood. The film was later released on DVD as a ten-part miniseries.
Verena Wagner Lafferentz was the fourth child and younger daughter of Winifred and Siegfried Wagner, and the youngest granddaughter of German composer Richard Wagner. She was also a great-granddaughter of the composer Franz Liszt.
Eva Maria Chamberlain was the daughter of Richard Wagner and Cosima Wagner, and the wife of Houston Stewart Chamberlain. When she was born, her mother was still married to Hans von Bülow. Through her mother, she was also a granddaughter of Franz Liszt. With her siblings Isolde and Siegfried, Eva was brought up by a house teacher.
Isolde Josefa Ludovika Beidler was the first child of the composer Richard Wagner and his wife, who is generally known as Cosima Wagner.
Emil Preetorius was a German illustrator and graphic artist. He is considered one of the most important stage designers of the first half of the 20th century.
The Bayreuth premiere cast of Parsifal lists the contributors to the new productions of Richard Wagner's inaugural stage play Parsifal, including the premiere, which took place on 26 July 1882 at the Bayreuth Festival.