Budapest Wagner Days 2021
This year online
Wagner fans won't have to go without cathartic experiences in 2021 either: Müpa Budapest is organising its world-famous Budapest Wagner Days festival once again this year – with the events available for viewing as productions of the Müpa Home live stream programme. Two nights of opera excerpts, a song recital with Michael Volle and a recording of the updated Ring from 2019.
Der fliegende Holländer, Lohengrin, Tristan und Isolde, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: the audience will get to hear excerpts of various lengths from all four of these masterpieces on the first and second "Wagner Magic" nights. These will include a lively overture, a popular choral passage, a memorable monologue and duet, as well as entire scenes: in fact, in the case of Tristan, there will be an entire act.
As for the singers, the two concerts offer a look at some international stars, mostly artists who have also provided the Müpa Budapest audience with rich and lasting experiences in previous years as well. Taking the stage on the first night will be Germany's Annette Dasch, Sweden's Iréne Theorin, Poland's Tomasz Konieczny and the Dane Magnus Vigilius. Then, on the second night, there to delight the audience will be England's Catherine Foster, the three Germans Simone Schneider, Gerhard Siegel and Albert Dohmen, Corby Welch from the United States and our own Hungarian compatriot, Atala Schöck, with Konieczny also joining in again. Like at other times, these performances offer exciting opportunities for discovery as the artists portray different characters from the ones we are accustomed to seeing them in at previous Wagnerian productions at Müpa Budapest
Also appearing in a new role will be the outstanding German baritone Michael Volle, whom we heard sing Bach cantatas in March 2019. This time he will be giving a song recital alongside the legendary piano accompanist Helmuth Deutsch, with a programme consisting of a varied Liszt anthology in German and Italian studded with some French-language songs by Wagner.
And what is it that will be crowning this Wagner Days event series for unusual times that you can watch and hear in your living room? The updated Ring from 2019 with Johan Reuter (Wotan), Catherine Foster (Brünnhilde), Stefan Vinke (Siegfried) and others. Back then, we all marvelled at the revamped choreography, the reconfigured stage movements and the 16 hours of brand-new video material. Now we can lean back comfortably in our favourite armchairs and let ourselves come under the spell of the message – modified in terms of its emphases and nuances but unchanged with respect to the gold standard of the thinking behind it – of Müpa Budapest's updated but still true-to-itself Ring.