This year, the Friends of Bayreuth are celebrating their 70th anniversary. What has driven the members since then?
The Society of Friends of Bayreuth was founded in Frankfurt on 22nd September 1949 with the aim of achieving the reopening of the Bayreuth Festival and to support the Richard Wagner Scholarship Foundation. The members gathered in Bayreuth for the first General Assembly on 28th May 1950, which was named the “Whitsun Meeting of the Society of Friends of Bayreuth”. A concert by the Vienna Symphonic Orchestra conducted by Herbert von Karajan in the Festspielhaus provided a ceremonial setting.
Two years after the foundation of the society, the Bayreuth Festival was formally reopened after the Second World War with the première of Parsifal on 30th June 1951.
Excerpt from the invitation to the Annual General Meeting in June 1951
Some impressions of the 1951 Festival: