Klaus Billand (b. 1952) is a noted German economist and scholar. Apart from economics, however, he has another, much different, passion: music. In addition to writing opera reviews since 2001, he also enthusiastically collects posters for productions of Wagnerian operas. And he has kindly made about a hundred and fifty of these available to Müpa Budapest in order to provide the audience of the Budapest Wagner Days festival a survey of the various visual means used to entice viewers into opera houses all over the globe to watch a performance of Tristan, Parsifal or the Ring.
Whenever Billand attends a performance of one of Wagner's works, he never leaves empty-handed, but instead takes home with him a poster for the production along with his memory of the experience. And it is not just any experience that visitors to the exhibition can count on sharing. The selection, while focusing primarily on productions of The Ring of the Nibelung, is extremely rich in terms of geography, originating from the opera houses of, just to illustrate with a few examples, Amsterdam, Ba...ri, Bayreuth, Berlin, Vienna, Bologna, Brussels, Buenos Aires, Cottbus, Detmold, Essen, Frankfurt am Main, Geneva, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Lyon, Milan, Monte Carlo, Naples, Nice, Paris, Riga, Shanghai, Stockholm, Sofia, Tallinn, Wrocław and Zurich. How do different designers approach highlighting the interconnections in the work or in the director's concept? How is the experience of music theatre transformed into a visual message? The poster is an artistic genre of the modern era. We pass by them on the street, and if the image is sufficiently evocative, the message burns itself into us instantaneously: "This is something I have to see!” Similar past exhibitions from 1996 to 2023 at Müpa Budapest have demonstrated both the popularity of Wagner's operas and the diversity of possibilities that opened up for graphic designers when they are staged.
Presented by: Müpa Budapest
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