Kick-off of the Richard Wagner Festival in Bayreuth: Political celebrities and greats of German show business walked the red carpet on Monday afternoon. Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder welcomed ex-Chancellor Angela Merkel – almost enthusiastically.
Dhe red carpet before the Bayreuth Festival was well attended for the premiere on Monday. Ex-Chancellor Angela Merkel appeared at the Bayreuth Festspielhaus 15 minutes before the performance began. Traditionally, wind instruments then line up at the top to play a few bars from the respective Wagnerian music drama and thus draw attention to the imminent start of the performance.
Together with her husband Joachim Sauer, Merkel walked the red carpet in temperatures of 35 degrees, and there was friendly applause from onlookers. The former head of government wore a bright yellow two-piece ensemble consisting of a blazer and a long skirt – similar to her 2019 visit to Bayreuth.
Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) spread his arms wide to greet Merkel enthusiastically. After a few minutes she had disappeared into the Festspielhaus, “Tristan and Isolde” began. Merkel and Sauer are considered big fans of Richard Wagner’s music.
The Bavarian Economics Minister Hubert Aiwanger (free voters) was one of the first to arrive at the Green Hill as the prominent festival guests drove up. He wrote autographs. He was accompanied by the Franconian wine queen, Eva Brockmann, who wore a bottle-green dress.
The director of the Richard Wagner Festival in Bayreuth, Katharina Wagner, appeared at the start of the festival just in front of the famous royal portal. There she was photographed with Prime Minister Söder. Söder came with his wife Karin Baumüller-Söder. He welcomed the Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, who appeared in a white suit, and his wife Linda in front of the Festspielhaus.
The current federal government was poorly represented, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) did not come. Research Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger (FDP) was announced, but canceled her appointments due to corona disease.
Building Minister Klara Geywitz (SPD) and Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth (Greens) were present in Bayreuth. In 2018, the current Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) and his then girlfriend Franca Lehfeldt presented themselves as a couple. They are now married, but decided not to visit Bayreuth this year.
Gottschalk is coming – “Finally one of us”
Numerous guests from show business also came to the opening of this year’s festival season, including the “Tatort” actor Udo Wachtveitl or the legendary presenter Thomas Gottschalk. The presenter, who is known for his often unusual outfits, came to the red carpet quite inconspicuously: he wore a bronze-colored jacket and bow tie, as well as a white shirt.
The onlookers applauded him on Monday – Gottschalk has a kind of home advantage, he grew up in Kulmbach, a few kilometers away. “Finally one of us,” exclaimed a fan on the edge of the red carpet. Gottschalk’s friend Karina Mroß wore an evening dress with a cape in a dark pink shade and glitter elements.
On Monday afternoon, the first festival sausages – according to the butcher with a champagne note – were already sizzling on the grills, but cool drinks and ice cream were particularly popular.
The festival of superlatives began in Bayreuth on this hot Monday – because no fewer than five new productions are on the schedule. After “Tristan and Isolde” these are the four parts of the “Ring des Nibelungen”. The festival lasts until September 1st and should take place completely without corona restrictions. Wearing masks is only recommended.