WAGNER, R.: Tannhauser (Bayreuth Festival, 1978)


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- (Disc 1)
Libretto/Text Author: Wagner, Richard
Conductor: Davis, Colin

Biterolf: Mazura, Franz
Elisabeth: Jones, Gwyneth
Heinrich der Schreiber: Pickering, John
Hermann, Landgraf von Thuringen: Sotin, Hans
Reimar von Zweter: Feldhoff, Heinz
Tannhauser: Wenkoff, Spas
Walter von der Vogelweide: Schunk, Robert
Wolfram von Eschenbach: Weikl, Bernd

Set/Stage Designer: Rose, Jurgen
Costume Designer: Rose, Jurgen
Choreographer: Neumeier, John
Stage Director: Friedrich, Gotz
Television Director: Friedrich, Gotz

Date of Production: 1978
Festival: Bayreuth Festival
Venue: Bayreuth Festspielhaus
Playing Time: 03:09:16
Catalogue Number: A05004557



This is the first complete television production recorded at the annual Wagner Festival in Bayreuth. Director Gotz Friedrich sees the minstrel Tannhauser as a rugged artistic individualist, much as Wagner was himself, misunderstood by his contemporaries who seek to throttle his inalienable right of expression. He turns his back on a regulated, stifling society and retreats into the world of his own impossible dreams. Whereas other productions of Tannhäuser show the minstrel acutally biding time in the court of Venus, in Friedrich's version Tannhauser's harp triggers an imaginary Venusberg, in which the strings become a tangled web of pure sensuality. Tannhauser discovers that a completely anything-goes society is just as restrictive in the end, and he returns to the real world. But Tannhauser can't go home again. Once again he lashes out at his hypocritical associates, who condemn him. His only defender is the saintly Elisabeth, who in this production is played by the same soprano who sings Venus – two sides of the coin in the eternal feminine. She prays for her own death, so that thereby Tannhauser's soul leaves this restrictive world for a better one in which his genius is appreciated.

Part 1

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