20.6. - 14.7.2022
Wagners in einem Festival.
Program Wagner 22
13 masterpieces in chronological order
In the summer of 2022, the music world will be looking at the Oper Leipzig: In Richard Wagner's birthplace, all thirteen of the composer's operas will be performed in the order in which they were written; only the four parts of the »Ring« are excluded from the chronology and follow one another.
Der fliegende Holländer
Tristan und Isolde
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
3 weeks of indulgence
Events such as public viewing on the Augustusplatz, symposia on various topics and musical salons are planned. Many other program points round off the Wagner festival.
Under the direction of Intendant and General Music Director Prof. Ulf Schirmer, the Oper Leipzig has set itself the ambitious goal of having the entire repertoire of Richard Wagner's operas in its program by 2022. With one of the world's best orchestras and the stars of the international Wagner scene, this festive season will be the highlight of Ulf Schirmer's directorship.
Intendant and general music director Prof. Ulf Schirmer
Tickets: Wagner 22 Pass and single tickets
With our festival pass, you can experience all 13 works and attend events within the Oper Leipzig’s supporting program. At the moment the passes are sold out.
Create your own personal Wagner experience by booking your desired performances individually from the entire festival program.
Book tickets directly
You can purchase both your Wagner22 pass and single tickets online via our webshop: www.oper-leipzig.de.
The visitor service is available to you personally from Monday to Friday 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. by email and via telephone through our customer service.
Visitor Service of the Oper Leipzig
Fon: +49(0)341-12 61 261
Fax: +49(0)341-1261 300
We are happy to receive your reservation requests for the Wagner 22 festival by e-mail, post or by telephone. You will receive your reservation confirmation by post or email on request.
Each reservation has a four-week option period. Up to the respective option period, you have the option of canceling the offer free of charge or changing the number of tickets depending on availability. After the option period has expired, your entitlement to the reserved tickets expires.
Visitor Service of the Oper Leipzig
Fon: +49 (0)341-1261 261
Shipping options for online bookings
Print your tickets free of charge with your own printer or save them as a mobile ticket on your mobile device in order to show them at the entrance.
Shipping via Post
For a fee of € 3, we will send your tickets to the given address.
Pick-Up at the box office in the Opera House
For a fee of € 3, we will deposit your tickets for you at the box office in the Opera House, available until the evening of the event.
There are six wheelchair spaces available per performance on the lower floot of the opera house.
Tickets can only be ordered via:
Visitor Service of the Opera House
Tel +49 (0)341-1261 261
When arriving by car, the opera house can be reached barrier-free from the underground parking garage with the elevator. Six wheelchair-accessible parking spaces are available in the underground garage near the entrance. You can reach the lower level with the elevator on the left side of the wardrobe.
If you are using a transport service for your journey, the access to the opera house is on Goethestrasse (Goethe Street). You will be picked up from the entrance and escorted to your seat.
You can reach the “Augustusplatz” stop via the tram lines 4, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 15 and 16. On the day of the event, your ticket is valid for 3 hours before and after the event as a ticket for the Leipziger Verkehrsbetriebe (LVB) in zone 110.
From the Leipzig main train station, leave the building through the east hall, cross the traffic lights straight ahead and walk up Goethestrasse (approx. 5 minutes walk).
There are induction loops in the Opera House - on the ground floor and on the balcony. Please set your hearing aids to telephone or induction and keep this in mind when making your seat reservation.
Streaming for barrier-free listening for all seats. Visitors with hearing impairment will be able to access the additional sound tracks for hearing assistance via the free Sennheiser MobileConnect app. The transmission takes place in real time on the device of the visitor. The app is available for Android®and iOS® and the Personal Hearing Assistant allows speech intelligibility and sound quality to be adjusted.
Operas by Richard Wagner will be simultaneously surtitled in German and English. We would like to point out that due to the architecture of the hall in rows 19 and 20, the surtitling is unfortunately only partially legible or not at all. There is no entitlement to the legibility of the surtitles.
Contact person service
Information for travel customers
Our team for group reservations, Carolin Schön and Petra Wendt, will be happy to accept your pre-orders and inquiries. Option periods and all other conditions will be communicated to you when the offer is sent by the Oper Leipzig.
Tel + 49 (0)341 – 12 61 297
Fax + 49 (0)341 – 12 61 300
Experience your exclusive travel package to Richard Wagner's operas, arranged by our partner Leipzig Tourismus und Marketing GmbH.
Informationen under: www.leipzig.travel/wagner
Richard Wagner, born in Leipzig in the year of the Battle of Nations, spent the first year of his life here, before his family moved to Dresden in 1814. He returned to Leipzig at the age of 15, enrolling as a pupil at the Nikolai Gymnasium, the secondary school associated with the nearby St. Nicholas Church. It was during his time there that his passion and curiosity for the fine arts was awakened, where he heard his first Beethoven symphony, had his first musical lessons with members of the Gewandhausorchester, and had his first compositions performed at the Gewandhaus. He wrote his early operas Die Hochzeit (The Wedding) and Die Feen (The Fairies) while still living in Leipzig. Since the 200th anniversary of Wagner’s birth, the Oper Leipzig has gradually expanded its Wagner repertoire, and will honor this great son of the city in 2022 with performances of all 13 of his operas.
»Zum roten und weißen Löwen«
The House Zum roten und weißen Löwen (The House of the Red and White Lions)
Richard Wagner was born on May 22 1813, the ninth child of the royal police actuary Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Wagner (1770–1813) and his wife Johanna Rosine (1774–1848). He was born in a house located on the Brühl called Zum roten und weißen Löwen (the House of the Red and White Lions). The building takes its name from the two stone lions above the entryway, whose significance Wagner described as follows: “The red lion is red with fury, and the white lion has turned white with fear.”
Richard Wagner, child of war
At the time of Wagner’s birth, Leipzig was occupied by Napoleon’s French troops. Occupation placed a heavy burden on the city of Leipzig and its inhabitants. The city resembled a military camp, and the growing criminal activity associated with the army spread fear and terror among the citizenry. In addition, there was the constant threat of fighting between enemy forces, making the routine of daily life unthinkable. Like many others, the Wagner family suffered under the turmoil, and shortly after Richard’s birth, his mother fled war-torn Leipzig for Teplice (known in German as Teplitz, and located in what is today the Czech Republic. But she returned to Leipzig in August, and Richard was christened Wilhelm Richard on 16 August 1813 in the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig.
At the end of August, Napoleon achieved a decisive victory near Dresden, before ultimately fleeing after his fortunes turned at the Völkerschlacht, or Battle of Nations, near Leipzig. Shortly thereafter, Richard’s father died of typhoid fever, contracted as result of the wartime conditions. He was 34 at the time of his death. Joanna Rosine subsequently married the painter, actor, and poet Ludwig Geyer (1779–1821), a long-time friend of the family. In 1814, the family moved to Dresden, where Wagner stayed until 1827.
Artistic-intellectual elites at the coffee house
By the 1820s, the city had recovered from the war and established itself as a cultural and economic powerhouse. In that year, Leipzig boasted 41,000 inhabitants, including 1,500 students. Noted figures including Johann Christoph Gottsched, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Christian Fürchtegott Gellert, Robert Schumann, and members of the Brockhaus publishing family met at Zum Arabischen Coffe Baum, Leipzig’s tradition-laden coffee house. Located in the center of the city, it is still in operation today, making it one of Europe’s oldest coffee houses. Robert Schumann conceived of and discussed his Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, in whose pages Richard Wagner published his writing, over coffee there. A particularly close relationship developed between the Wagner and Brockhaus families when Wagner’s sisters Ottilie and Luise married Hermann and Friedrich Brockhaus, the heirs to the business.
Wagner as a pupil at the Nikolai- and Thomasschule
On 28 January 1828, Wagner was admitted as a pupil at the Nikolai Gymnasium, located next to the St. Nicholas Church. Today the Alte Nikolaischule as Wagner knew it exists only as a building. After a number of moves, the secondary school landed at its current location in Stötteritz in 1995. From 1928-1946, the school was named the Richard Wagner School. But its temporary namesake found his own schooldays tiresome. He was not an especially good student, and he spiritedly rebelled against teachers, external constraints, and “scholastic pedantry.” In his autobiography My Life, he looks back: “As the student life I saw unfolding day by day before my eyes filled me for now with an ever-increasing love of rebellion for its own sake, I unexpectedly found yet another and more serious motivation for despising scholastic pedantry.” Wagner met his longtime friend Theodor Apel at the Nikolaischule. Apel was the son of August Apel. The elder Apel was a playwright who penned the text that formed the basis for Weber’s Freischütz, and was known as the Gespenster-Apel, or “Phantom Apel.” In 1830, Wagner moved to the Thomasschule. He took counterpoint lessons from Christian Theodor Weinlig, the Thomaskantor, and put the finishing touches on his musical education.
Early love for art
While a pupil, Wagner made his home in the attic of the Pichhof by the Hallisches Tor (one of the city’s four main gates). In contrast to scholarly endeavors, Wagner was already passionately enthusiastic about theater, music, and literature. As in many adolescents, they awakened in Wagner an “unknown longing” and his gave wing to his fantasies. He was able to quench his passion and curiosity for the fine arts is his uncle Adolf Wagner’s library, which still makes its home in the Königshaus am Markt, a building that has been preserved through to the present day. Richard’s uncle would become an important figure in the younger Wagner’s life. The two would go on hours-long walks outside the walls of the city, and Richard – his “ears flushed” – would rummage around in his uncle’s library. It was here that the young composer discovered Shakespeare and the German Romantics, who left a lasting impression on the boy.
Wagner and the Leipziger Gewandhausorchester
The venerable Gewandhaus (at that time it was still the Alte Gewandhaus, or “old cloth hall,” building in the Universitätsstraße) held great significance in Wagner’s life. It was here that in 1928 that he first heard a Beethoven symphony: Symphony No. 7 in A Major. Shortly thereafter, he attended a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, which had a lasting and profound effect on him. Under the influence of both Beethoven and E.T.A. Hoffmann’s musical novellas, music turned into a “mystically sublime monstrosity” for the young Wagner. And Wagner received his first musical lessons from musicians in the Gewandhaus: He took lessons in harmony and conducting from violinist Christian Gottlieb Müller (1800–1863), and he learned to play the violin from Friedrich Robert Sipp (1806 – 1899). He studied compositional theory with autodidactic passion using a text by Johann Bernhard Logier’s (1777–1846) entitled System der Musikwissenschaft und der praktischen Komposition (System of Musicology and Practical Composition), which he’d borrowed from the Leihanstalt für Musikalien, a shop owned by Clara Schumann’s father Friedrich Wieck. Wagner was so engrossed in the book that he kept it past its due date and the late charges skyrocketed: Wagner had accumulated his first debt. Additionally, some of his first compositions were performed at the Gewandhaus. His Overture in d minor appeared on a Großes Concert in 1832, as Wagner proudly wrote to his sister Ottilie. The following year, on 10 January 1833, Richard Wagner’s first and only surviving Symphony in C Major was performed.
The Ranstädter Bastei
The Theater on the Ranstädter Bastei, known as the “Altes Theater,” opened in 1766 with a performance of Hermann, a tragedy by Elias Schlegel – and the young Goethe was in the audience. The theater was rebuilt and rechristened in 1817 as the Theater der Stadt Leipzig and functioned as the Royal Saxon Court Theater Leipzig from 1829 to 1832. Wagner’s sisters Rosalie (his favorite) and Luise were engaged as actresses at the Theater on the Ranstädter Bastei. And here Wagner unintentionally found himself at the wrong end of a “Christmas joke.” On Christmas Day 1830, his Symphony in B Major With the Kettledrum Stroke was performed under the direction of the esteemed conductor Heinrich Dorn. During rehearsals for the concert, the orchestra had already “descended into laughter during rehearsals.” The timpani, or kettledrum, was to play a five-beat rhythm to the rest of the orchestra’s common-time Allegro (four beats per bar), leaving the impression that the timpanist was constantly out of beat. This amused not only conductor and musicians, but also the audience. For the debutant Wagner, however, it was a fiasco. The music is unfortunately lost today.
A more pleasant event for the young Wagner, however, was the appearance of the singer Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient (1804 - 1860), a “shining star of the opera world.” He heard her as Romeo in the Vincenzo Bellini opera I Capuleti e i Montecchi and was deeply impressed. Her expressive acting style sparked Wagner’s desire to become a musician.
Early Operas in Leipzig
After leaving the city in 1833, Wagner briefly returned to Leipzig one year later. In the intervening time, he had written Die Hochzeit and Die Feen, his first operas. But both saw little success, and he destroyed Die Hochzeit when it was met with sharp criticism from his family. The planned premiere for Die Feen in 1834 in Leipzig never took place. Ultimately the opera wasn’t premiered until five years after Wagner’s death, when it bowed at the Hof- und Nationaltheater in Munich. Perhaps due to the bitterness of these disappointments, later in life Wagner was never satisfied with the Leipzig performances of his operas. Friedrich Nietzsche described in a letter how Wagner subsequently made fun of the Leipzig Kapellmeisters and imitated their Saxon dialect: “Meine Gutsten, noch ein bisschen leidenschaftlicher!” – “My dearies, a little bit more passionately!”
Salon Meetings in Leipzig
After several decades, during which Wagner only visited Leipzig from time to time, he met Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 - 1900) here in 1868. He first met the young philosopher while he was with his sister Ottilie and her husband Hermann Brockhaus and attended one of their salons. That evening, they talked about Wagner’s music and the works of Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 - 1860), whom both Wagner and Nietzsche admired. Nietzsche, then 24, enjoyed the company of the 21-year-old composer and accepted his invitation to Tribschen (Lucerne), where an intense but conflict-laden friendship between the two would begin.
Wagner’s Reception in Leipzig
The Neues Theater, or “New Theater,” on the Augustusplatz – which was used for opera and theater – opened in 1868, ushering in an era in which Wagner repertoire became a special focus, alongside works by Mozart, Weber, and Gluck. In 1878 and 1879, Leipzig became the site of the first performances of the Ring Tetralogy outside of the Bayreuth Festspielhaus. A central figure in this context was Angelo Neumann, who had been the opera director in Leipzig since 1876. At the conductor’s podium for the Ring were, among others, conductor Arthur Nickisch and the young Gustav Mahler. Gustav Brecher, who became the General Music Director in Leipzig in 1914 and musically directed the premieres of works such as Kurt Weill’s Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny and Ernst Krenek’s Johnny spielt auf in Leipzig, also busied himself with the ambitious goal of bringing all of Richard Wagner’s works to the stage in his birth city of Leipzig in 1933, in observance of the 50th anniversary of his death. After the Nazis came to power in January of that year, Brecher – a composer of Jewish descent, who was often attacked for his affinity for so-called entartete Musik (“degenerate music”) – was removed from his post. Under radically different ideological circumstances and banners, the 125th anniversary of Wagner’s death was marked in Leipzig with performances of all of his works: from the anniversary of his death in February through to his birthday in May 1838, all of Wagner’s works were presented, including fragments from Die Hochzeit and the choral work Das Liebesmahl der Apostel. After the opera house was destroyed in December 1943, postwar performances of Wagner’s works were undertaken in markedly smaller dimensions at the Haus Dreilinden, an operetta theater in the Lindenau district of Leipzig, which served as an alternative venue for the Oper Leipzig, and is now the home of the Musikalische Komödie and its ensemble. In 1960 the new Leipzig Opera House, the only music theater building to be newly constructed in the GDR, was opened with performances of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. From 1973 to 1976, Joachim Herz, then opera director, staged the tetralogy at the Leipzig Opera House on the occasion of the centenary of the Bayreuth Festival and the completion of the Ring des Nibelungen. That production has gone down in history as the “Leipzig Ring of the Century,” alongside the Bayreuth production led by Patrice Chéreau and Pierre Boulez. Joachim Herz set the mythological tetralogy in the time of its creation, preceding Chéreau’s treatment. In the years that followed, Richard Wagner’s works became a part of the Oper Leipzig’s classical repertoire, but did not occupy a prominent position.
2013 – the 200th anniversary
In the year 2013, the Oper Leipzig kicked off a veritable Wanger renaissance, which continues to this day. In fitting form, the Oper Leipzig celebrated its famous son, together with the City of Leipzig, including a new production of the Ring des Nibelungen. In addition, the Oper Leipzig, in cooperation with the Bayreuth Festival (BF-Medien), brought Wagner’s rarely performed early works – Die Feen, Das Liebesverbot, and Rienzi – to the stage. The energy, the forcefulness, and the power emanating from Wagner’s early works have ensured Leipzig once again carries the title of “Wagner City.”
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