Richard Wagner‘s former residence, “Wahnfried“ and the Richard Wagner Museum in Bayreuth have been reopened to the public since 26th July 2015: after five years of reconstruction , the major Bayreuth museum project, incorporating the renovation of Wahnfried House and the extension of the Museum, was completed. The Richard Wagner Museum today appears in a completely new guise, with the new extension and three permanent exhibitions each focused on a different theme.
Wahnfried House – Richard Wagner’s life, work and art
At Wahnfried House, with its authentic aura, visitors encounter a documentation of the life, work and art of Richard Wagner. The ground floor reflects the composer’s lifestyle, giving glimpses into the era around 1880 and the family’s everyday life. Many friends and renowned personalities of the day were regular visitors to the house.
Documents taken from the hand-written records and illustrations in the National Archives are displayed on the mezzanine floor in a changing programme of exhibitions.
On the lower ground floor in the treasury, visitors can trace Richard Wagner’s working style all the way to the finished musical score. The ’interactive score’ in a neighbouring room is an extraordinary voyage of the senses as it converts various elements of a musical score into sound and music in an unforgettable experience.
Siegfried Wagner House – ideological history
Siegfried Wagner House, a listed building, was built by Wagner’s son Siegfried in 1894 and lived in by his widow, Winifred, until her death in 1980. The decor on the ground floor has been kept in its original 1930s state, and for the first time is now open to the public.
Visitors can view the fireplace room, the dining room and the garden room with adjoining terrace, the fountain and tea pavilion. Wagner’s ideology is portrayed here, as is the close connection between Bayreuth and the National Socialist dictatorship. The personal relationship between the Wagner family and the Nazis and Adolf Hitler is also documented.
New Building – performance history of the Bayreuth Festival
The Museum’s new building, in the western part of the gardens, was designed and built by renowned Berlin architect, Volker Staab. From the foyer, where the Museum shop is located, you access the temporary exhibition hall, or forum. The space can be used in various ways and the generous expanse of windows allows it to benefit from the atmospheric quality of the historical gardens.
The permanent exhibition on the lower ground floor is dedicated to the performance history of the Bayreuth Festival right up to the present day. On display is a unique collection of historical set design models, original costumes and technical stage equipment from the Bayreuth Festival hall.
The permanent and temporary exhibitions may either be viewed in a single tour or separately.The cinema has a widely varied film programme for visitors too.