"Regietheater" in Richard Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1867): Barry Kosky's 2017 Production
Level of Education of Students Involved
Arts and Sciences
It is not uncommon for a director to present new interpretations for widely known operas; at the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, it has become the recent norm to perform an opera using all original music and libretto but with a meta plot happening on stage. It has become known that Richard Wagner was Anti-Semitic, and there have been a few different interpretations of his operas that have demonstrated and exaggerated his views. In 2017, Barry Kosky directed Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at the Bayreuth Festspielhaus. His interpretation of this opera was controversial and upset many viewers (Skramstad, Per-Erik. 2017.). The aim of this paper is to address the topic of Die Meistersinger considering "Regietheater", a term first used by Wieland Wagner (1917–1966), who in the years after World War II responded to the problematic ways in which Wagner's works have been appropriated by the Nazis by “designing and producing minimalist and heavily symbolic staging’s of Wagner operas in Bayreuth and elsewhere" (Wikipedia). Regietheater can be a powerful tool for reinterpreting classic works like Die Meistersinger, allowing directors to explore and critique the themes and ideas presented in the original work, however, it can be controversial, as some critics view it as a departure from the original intent of the composer or playwright. The question I will ask is: “Should directors use operas to create new meanings that go beyond the meaning that the composer had originally wanted?”
Stinson, Shelby, ""Regietheater" in Richard Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1867): Barry Kosky's 2017 Production" (2023). Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE). 1185.