If I said it once, I have said it 1000 times: attending the Wagner Festspiele in Bayreuth is on an opera lovers bucket list. And what is on the bucket list of an opera and Instagram lover? An instawalk, that takes you backstage at one of the most iconic locations around. That's what!
Book pages have been filled with information about this festival. And tabloid magazines. Each year you see politicians, actors and royalty in Bayreuth. But what you don't get to see, is a good look at what goes on backstage. Well, wait no more. I got you covered.
All the following photos have been taken with my iphone and have gone through the filter treatment.
The Bayreuther Festspiele changed the "no-photo-policy" to a "yes, please, take a photo of everything. Except for the Meistersinger costumes" policy" this past weekend. After a call to apply to take part in the #bfinstawalk on Facebook, ten Instagrammers were chosen and roamed the green hill.
If there is still a doubt how special this opportunity is, just take a look at Instagram and see what you can find when it comes to Bayreuth. That's right! Besides the mandatory selfie you won't catch a glimpse. That will change now.
Richard Wagner designed and oversaw construction of the Richard-Wagner-Festspielhaus, which only performs Wagner operas. Every year since 1876 (with some exceptions) ten of his works are being shown here.
The main building is often called barn. Quiet obvious why, no?
Up the stairs and into the auditorium with about 2000 seats. Richard Wagner wanted nothing to distract a patron from the music. There is not a lot of flourish going on and the seats...oh, those seats! It is legendary, how uncomfortable these can be.
From personal experience I can tell you: it is all true! Wooden seats, not a lot of cushioning, no arm rest. But then again: this is Bayreuth, so suck it up, buttercup.
Our tour led us also backstage! And that is where the magic happens. Looking behind the curtains and seeing all the details that director Frank Castorf and his team thought of when bringing together the set for the Ring Cycle.
We had the chance to speak to the assistant of Frank Castorf, Patric Seibert. Hearing from him what the thoughts behind the set are and how things came together, helps a lot to understand.
Since we were able to see the set in action, it made the "Götterdämmerung" that more tangible.
I always love to set foot into the make up and costume area. There is always so much to see. Besides I totally admire the craftmanship that goes into making wigs, costumes and the make up itself. Coming from someone that barely can do her own make up!
The #bfinstawalk was finished off with tickets to see the rehearsal of "Götterdämmerung". I have to admit, I thought the rehearsal would be a summary of the performance. Things would be tried out, others would be changed. An hour, two max., I was sure.
But I was wrong!
The rehearsal is also attended by 2000 patrons and it is the complete "Götterdämmerung", the whole four hours plus breaks. Tickets are given out to the staff of the Bayreuth Festspiele, who in turn pass them on to friends and relatives.
Don't miss out on the other Instagrammers to see what they noticed during the #bfinstawalk. The following list was put together by @kulturfluesterin and saved me some time! Thanks, Lena!
Also do follow the Richard Wagner Festpiele on Instagram and Facebook. They are doing a great job showing you even more backstage details.
This instawalk was worth every minute of my 12 hour train ride to and from Bayreuth! Thank you very much to Richard Wagner Festspiele for the wonderful tour and for taking me along. I will talk about this for years to come.