100th Anniversary of the Bayreuth Festival

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This year the Bayreuth Festival is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The annual music festival presents the operas of German composer Richard Wagner. This year's premiere, attended by many celebrities, features the opera Tannhäuser.

On July 25th, 4 p.m., same time as last year, the Wagner opera kicks off with the usual trumpet fanfare.

During the break some politicians raise their opinions about the meaning of the festival and this year's production:

[Guido Westerwelle, German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs]:
"I find the production totally exciting and of course quite a provoking production, and Bayreuth is always a great experience."

[Hans-Peter Friedrich, German Federal Minister of the Interior]:
"Actually, to have so many great composers that are known worldwide, makes one a bit proud."

[Günther Beckstein, Former Bavarian Prime Minister]:
"In our Bavarian constitution it is written that Bavaria is a culture state. Germany is also, in a quite special way, connected with music and high culture. I find it something quite beautiful, because being human is not just about efficiency, is not just about money, and culture, it is something that makes being human especially beautiful."

The Bayreuth Festival was founded in 1876 by the Wagner family as a family business.

But the festival has not always been held every year for financial reasons and because of a period of temporary suspension during the war.

It has become a world-renowned opera festival of classical music -- nowadays with rather modern scene productions.

The festival will last for a month, until August 28th.

NTD News, Bayreuth, Germany.

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