Katharina Wagner's Bayreuth Debut off to a Rocky Start

Classic Arts News   Katharina Wagner's Bayreuth Debut off to a Rocky Start
Set designer Alexander Dodge has left Katharina Wagner's debut production for the 2007 Bayreuth Festival. Agence France-Presse reported that he had been fired, but his agents said that he and Wagner had mutually agreed to part ways.

Dodge was working on Die Meistersinger von N‹rnberg with Wagner until "insurmountable artistic differences" prompted his departure. "Since the success of the production is paramount for both of them, Katharina Wagner and Alexander Dodge have decided amicably and in the interest of the festival to suspend their collaboration for this staging," the Bayreuth Festival said in a statement on May 18.

Katharina Wagner, the 28-year-old great-granddaughter of the composer and the daughter of Wolfgang Wagner, the head of festival, has collaborated frequently with Dodge. He was the set designer for her staging of Wagner's Der fliegende Hollaender in Wuerzburg in 2002; Wagner's Lohengrin in Budapest in 2003, Albert Lortzing's Der Waffenschmied in Munich in 2005 and Puccini's Il Trittico in Berlin earlier this year.

Tilo Steffens will replace Dodge as set designer for Meistersinger in 2007; Michaela Barth has been appointed costume designer, according to AFP. Organizers said preparations for the new production are on schedule, and the premiere will take place as planned on July 25, 2007

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