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September 23, 2021
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German Ambassador Lauk: Richard Wagner Society – a sustainable contribution to Romania – Germany cultural exchanges

German Ambassador in Bucharest Werner Hans Lauk considers that the establishment in Romania of the Richard Wagner Society whose honorary chairmanship he has recently taken over will make a sustainable contribution to the development of cultural exchanges between Romania and Germany.

The new Wagner society of Romania will know how to provide the opportunity for an in-depth look at the exceptional artist Richard Wagner and the effects and impact of his work. Practically, the Wagner Society will make a sustainable contribution to cultural exchanges between Romania and Germany, the German diplomat told a press conference on Monday.

Declaring himself delighted to hold the chairmanship of the Wagner Society, Ambassador Lauk said the launch of the society is a major event that paves the way for the promotion in Romania of the music of the great German composer.

Personally, I am a passionate music lover. Today I explicitly consider myself an ambassador of German art and culture. I cannot but appreciate the fact that in Romania, a country with great music tradition and artistic potential, Richard Wagner’s operatic work will be staged and cultivated as it fits its importance, said the German Ambassador, according to Agerpres.

According maestro Christian Badea, president of the Romanian Foundation for Excellence in Music – FREM and principal conductor of the “George Enescu” Philharmonic, the Richard Wagner Society Romania, which was reestablished after having functioned in the late nineteenth century, gives music lovers the possibility to meet and to contribute to promoting the work of this titan of German music.

After Bayreuth, the Bucharest Athenaeum has all the necessary features to present Wagner, says maestro Badea, who stated anew that the “Enescu” Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir have a special affinity for Wagner’s music.

Badea also promised that Wagner’s works for the stage will be presented in full at the Romanian Athenaeum, in line with the Bayreuth Festival tradition that also includes dinner served in the intermission to Act II.

He announced that on October 6 the protagonists of Parsifal – tenor Stefan Vinke, veteran bass Eric Halfvarson, mezzo-soprano Petra Lang and bass baritone Bela Perencz – will hold a series of master classes for Romanian artists interested in the Wagnerian repertoire, with the courses offered for free by FREM.

The general rehearsal on October 5, at 19:00 hrs, is dedicated to the young generation of pupils and students, Christian Badea said, commenting that the youth are already familiar with the characters in Parsifal thanks to films like “The Lord of the Rings”, “Game of Thrones” or “Star Wars” whose subjects resemble Wagner’s operas.

Director general of the “George Enescu” Philharmonic Andrei Dimitriu said that this project takes the Romanian artistic world out of a certain provincialism, conferring the Athenaeum European cultural prestige. At the same time, Dimitriu expressed hope that Parsifal will be staged in full in Romania in 2017.

Two concert-shows with the first act of Richard Wagner’s Parsifal will be presented on October 7 and 8 at the Romanian Athenaeum. Staged in partnership with the Romanian Cultural Institute and the “George Enescu” Philharmonic, the concerts open the 2016 – 2017 season of the prestigious Bucharest musical institution.

The two performances of high artistic standard will feature world famous artists. Performing under the baton of Christian Badea will be the “George Enescu” Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, and guest soloists Stefan Vinke (Parsifal), Eric Halfvarson (Gurnemanz), Petra Lang (Kundry), Bela Perencz (Amfortas), who are currently considered among the greatest interpreters of the Wagnerian repertoire. Romanian Opera and Philharmonic artists, the Radio Children’s Choir and students from the “Floria Capsali” Choreography High School are also on the bill of the shows.

The third act of Parsifal was performed in May 2015 at the Romanian Athenaeum.

According to the organizers, the concert-events “Parsifal at the Romanian Athenaeum” are a new concept that breaks ground not just in Romania but in the world, presenting Wagner’s creation in a show having the audience in the middle of the action, by combining the musical components (orchestra, choir, soloists) with complex dramatic elements (lights, scenery, costumes, visual and sound effects).

Parsifal is based on the 13th century epic poem Parzival by Wolfram von Eschenbach, that narrates the story of Arthurian knight Parzival (Percival) and his quest for the Holy Grail, as well as on Perceval, or The Story of the Grail, by Chrétien de Troyes.

Wagner first conceived the work in April 1857, but finished it only after 25 years, this being the composer’s last completed opera. Parsifal was first produced at the second Bayreuth Festival in 1882; the Bayreuth Festival maintained a monopoly on Parsifal productions until 1903, when the opera was performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

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