The red carpet before the Bayreuth Festival was crowded for the premiere on Monday. Ex-Chancellor Angela Merkel appeared punctually to the minute – 15 minutes before the start of the performance at the Bayreuth Festspielhaus. Traditionally, wind instruments then line up at the top to play a few bars from the respective Wagnerian music drama and thus draw attention to the imminent start of the performance. Together with her husband Joachim Sauer, she walked the red carpet on Monday at temperatures of 35 degrees, there was friendly applause from onlookers. Bavaria's Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) spreads his arms wide to greet Merkel enthusiastically. After a few minutes she has disappeared into the Festspielhaus, "Tristan and Isolde" begins.
Merkel arrived at the Bayreuth Festival on Monday 15 minutes before the performance began. The timing was perfect, as traditional wind instruments from the balcony of the Festspielhaus announced the imminent start of the musical drama "Tristan und Isolde".
Merkel traveled with her husband Joachim Sauer, both of whom are big fans of Richard Wagner's music. The former head of government wore a bright yellow two-piece ensemble of blazer and long skirt – similar to her 2019 visit to Bayreuth.
The Bavarian Economics Minister Hubert Aiwanger (free voters) was among the first to arrive at the Green Hill as the prominent festival guests drove up. At 35 degrees he wrote autographs. He was accompanied by the Franconian wine queen, Eva Brockmann, who wore a bottle-green dress.
The director of the Richard Wagner Festival in Bayreuth, Katharina Wagner, showed up at the start of the festival just in front of the famous royal portal. There she was photographed with the Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU). Söder came with his wife Karin Baumüller-Söder. He welcomed the Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, who appeared in a white suit, and his wife Linda in front of the Festspielhaus.
Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth (Greens) came to Bayreuth from the ranks of the federal government. Numerous guests from show business also came to the opening of this year's festival season, including the "Tatort" actor Udo Wachtveitl or the legendary presenter Thomas Gottschalk.
The presenter, known for his often unusual outfits, arrived at the Bayreuth Festspielhaus quite inconspicuously. He was wearing a bronze jacket and bow tie, with a white shirt.
The onlookers applauded him on Monday – Gottschalk has a kind of home advantage, he grew up in Kulmbach, a few kilometers away. "Finally one of us," exclaimed a fan on the edge of the red carpet. Gottschalk's friend Karina Mroß wore an evening dress with a cape in a dark pink shade and glitter elements.
On Monday afternoon, the first festival sausages – according to the butcher with a champagne note – were already sizzling on the grills, but cool drinks and ice cream were what was most in demand.
"Tristan and Isolde" opens this year's festival season with the works of Richard Wagner. The festival lasts until September 1st and should take place completely without corona restrictions. Wearing masks is only recommended.