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Dresden Music Festival Launches Historically Informed Wagner Project

The multi-year project will stage the entirety of Wagner's Ring cycle using historically informed performance and linguistic style


In 2023, the Dresden Music Festival is launching a new project, focusing on historically informed performance of the music of Richard Wagner.

A collaboration between leading performers and leading academics, the project will feature one performance each year of an opera from Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen cycle — performed on historical instruments and sung with the linguistic sensibilities of Wagner's day.

In 2023, the project will present a realization of Das Rheingold, the first opera in the cycle, under the direction of conductor Kent Nagano. The academic side of the project will be lead by Wagner expert Dr. Kai Hinrich Müller, who will also present a range of pre-concert talks relating to the subject in the lead-up to the performance.

Das Rheingold will be staged on June 14, 2023, at Dresden's Kulturpalast.

"The Dresden Music Festival is proud to deliver new impulses from Dresden to the world with this visionary project," said Jan Vogler, the Intendant of the Dresden Music Festival. "I am sure that this new Ring from Dresden and the musicological research involved will have a lasting influence on the reception and interpretation of Wagner’s music."

"From the instruments to vocal style and the general treatment of words — much of what we experience today during typical Wagner performances differs from the customs at Wagner’s time," said Kent Nagano, the project's Artistic Director.

"We look forward to delving into the fascinating musical world of the nineteenth century together with our audience, which also includes asking critical questions that are necessary when it comes to a person such as Wagner," he added.

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may 2024

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