The 2013 programme is specifically designed to include young people, said Katharina Wagner. Of the operaphobic variety, it appears. The "Wagner goes rap" project invites teenagers to create a rap based on a Wagner libretto. A film competition invites entrants to wish Wagner a hpayy birthday. And the Festival's anniversary partner, the Leipzig Opera, has commissioned a biographical musical about Wagner - but it won't include any of his own music.
Also on the bicentenary menu are Wagner's early works Rienzi, Die Feen and Das Liebesverbot. These will be performed not in the Festspielhaus itself (Wagner didn't want them included in the Festival), but in Leipzig and at the Bayreuth Oberfrankenhalle.
First out the bag is Wagner's earliest opera, Die Feen, which will be shown at the Leipzig Opera House in February 2013 under the baton of music director Ulf Schirmer. It's followed on 7 July by Rienzi, with Christian Thielemann conducting, then on 8 July Das Liebesverbot conducted by Constantin Trinks, both in Oberfrankenhalle Bayreuth. Die Feen will be performed in concert in Bayreuth in July, and Das Liebesverbot will travel to Leipzig Opera House. All performances will feature the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig.
On the exact date of the composer's 200th birthday, 22 May 2013, Christian Thielemann and the orchestra of the Bayreuth Festival will join various soloists for a birthday concert at the Bayreuth Festspielhaus. Afterwards we are promised "a big birthday celebration".