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Deutsche Grammophon and Bayreuth Festival Announce Expanded Media Collaboration

Bayreuther Festspiele 2022 News
Berlin, 23 July 2022. Deutsche Grammophon is delighted to announce the expansion of its longstanding relationship as exclusive international media partner of the Bayreuth Festival. The news was announced today at a virtual press conference hosted by Katharina Wagner, the festival’s Artistic and Managing Director, in which she introduced the upcoming season and Bayreuth’s future plans, including the unveiling of its full 2023 programme.
Speaking at the event, Dr Clemens Trautmann, President Deutsche Grammophon, highlighted the latest joint project: the video production of acclaimed Austrian opera director Valentin Schwarz’s eagerly-awaited new staging of Der Ring des Nibelungen, which will be filmed at Bayreuth this summer. The latest version of the tetralogy opens on 31 July 2022 with the first performance of Das Rheingold, and the full cycle will be heard three times, the final performance of Götterdämmerung coming on 25 August.
Deutsche Grammophon will begin by presenting Götterdämmerung on the DG Stage platform on Sunday 7 August 2022, immediately after the opera’s premiere. In Japan and Germany, TV audiences will be able to get a first taste of the 2022 cycle when NHK and Bavarian Radio/3sat also broadcast Götterdämmerung. Further updates on the new Ring and other Bayreuth productions can be found here.
Conducted by Cornelius Meister, Der Ring features an all-star cast headed by Lise Davidsen, Iréne Theorin, Stephen Gould, Tomasz Konieczny, Andreas Schager, Klaus-Florian Vogt and Georg Zeppenfeld. All four operas will be made available later this year to viewers in 4K video and immersive surround sound.
In an effort to provide classical audiences and artists with innovative video streaming opportunities, Deutsche Grammophon introduced DG Stage in 2020 and, as announced in early 2021, will substantially enhance its technological standards, content offering and fan experience under the leadership of Robert Zimmermann, DG’s Vice President Consumer Business. More details will follow in due course, and the platform will also be home to the most comprehensive Bayreuth Festival experience available online in audio and video.
As part of the expanded partnership with the Bayreuth Festival, Deutsche Grammophon plans to stream more landmark productions from the early 2000s onwards. These will include Christoph Marthaler’s Tristan (2005), Tankred Dorst’s Die Walküre (2006) and Katharina Wagner’s Meistersinger (2007). Another highlight will be the iconic Boulez/Chéreau Centenary Ring production, filmed in 1980.
With regard to television and cinema distribution, DG is working with C Major Entertainment to bring the new Ring cycle and a substantial catalogue of Bayreuth productions from previous seasons to global audiences.
Katharina Wagner credits the collaboration with DG for widening access to the Festival’s work. “Our media partnership with Deutsche Grammophon, which has notably flourished over the past seasons, has introduced a global online audience to some of the most important of all recent Bayreuth productions,” she comments. “We are thrilled about this exciting phase in its development, which will connect people around the world with Valentin Schwarz’s Ring cycle and multiply the already substantial catalogue of streamed Bayreuth productions.”
“We very much look forward to creating the most comprehensive and immersive experience ever of the unique Bayreuth Festival,” adds Dr Clemens Trautmann. “Deutsche Grammophon’s long relationship with Bayreuth is reflected in the label’s catalogue and continues to grow with our pioneering media partnership. The richness of DG’s and Universal Music’s Bayreuth catalogue will enable new discoveries, cross-references and simply fantastic artistic experiences. We’re keen to build on the work we’ve done together and connect new and existing audiences alike to Wagner’s enthralling music dramas.”