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WINIFRED WAGNER and her extended reign/influence over Bayreuth – STEPHEN EMMERSON

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Saturday 19 Mar 2022
3:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Queensland Multicultural Centre

When the middle-aged Siegfried Wagner married Winifred Williams, an 18-year-old English orphan, in 1914, the long-term consequences of this union for the Bayreuth Festival could hardly have been imagined. She would prove to be a remarkably capable and loyal companion for Siegfried until his death in 1930 after which time she took control of the festival directing its activities until after the Second World War. She is a controversial figure through her close associations with Adolf Hitler but remains a fascinating case, nonetheless. This presentation will consider some of the various issues raised by her directorship and the legacy it has left on the reputation of the festival – not to mention that of the composer and his family – and, more broadly, on the place of music in this traumatic period of European history.