ARD-alpha today shows legendary Bayreuth "Century Ring"

© Bayerischer Rundfunk

40 years after the last performance, ARD-alpha is showing Patrice Chéreau’s “Ring” production, which turned everything upside down.


The legendary “Ring” production by Patrice Chéreau at the Bayreuth Festival 1976 can be seen on Friday and Saturday (August 7th and 8th) on ARD-alpha. “This means that the Wagner cycle, which is celebrated as the” Ring of the Century “, can be seen on free TV for the first time in 40 years,” said Bayerischer Rundfunk on Tuesday.

Chéreaus (1944-2013) interpretation of Richard Wagner’s four-part “The Ring of the Nibelung” with Pierre Boulez (1925-2016) on the conductor’s podium is still considered to be groundbreaking today. Performed 100 years after the first Bayreuth Festival in 1876, the production went down in history as the “Ring of the Century”.

The broadcast begins on Friday at 8.45pm with “Rheingold”, followed by “Walküre” (11.10pm) and “Siegfried” (02.50am), before “Götterdämmerung” on Saturday at 6.40am. To kick off the long “Ring Night”, the documentation “Ring, Ring, Ring” will be shown on Friday at 8:15 p.m. on the trail of loops and legends.

The French director Patrice Chéreau, then only in his early 30s, broke radically with the Bayreuth staging habits. He moved the plot to the early industrialization of the 19th century and designed it as an analysis of political power.

The traditionalists in the audience were outraged, there were tumults in the hall, and outside there were even rallies and signature lists. But when the last performance was given in 1980, the mood had long changed: there were 101 curtains, the applause lasted more than an hour.

Image source:

  • ARD_alpha: © Bayerischer Rundfunk


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