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he citizens of Leipzig Wagner’s time in Dresden cul- made their first attempt minated in his legendary partici- to erect a monumental pation in the revolutionary May The composer’s traces in Saxony tribute to one of the The early Wagner Uprising of 1849. The rebellion Liebethaler Gorge city’sT greatest sons 100 years was crushed after just a few days. The Wesenitz river flows through the Think of and the first place that springs to mind is ago. The respected sculptor Max Saxony marks the famous composer’s bicentenary with a program of events Wagner fled Dresden a wanted Liebethaler Gorge just a few minutes by car Bayreuth. But the composer was born and raised in Saxony, where Klinger, who also hailed from man and was fortunate enough from Graupa. At one point, visitors encounter he gradually matured into the great artist he was destined to be. the city, designed a three-part in his hometown Leipzig and in Dresden to escape to Switzerland. The a 12.5 meter monument built into the walls of ensemble consisting of a flight warrant for his arrest remained this wildly romantic valley: an outsized statue Here, we present some of Wagner’s key biographical locations in of steps, plinth and statue. But By Klaus Grimberg in force for almost 13 years, and of Richard Wagner as Knight of the Grail, what was, at the time, the Kingdom of Saxony. when the day came to officially he wasn’t able to return to Saxony with five allegorical creatures kneeling at his lay the foundation stone in the until his amnesty in March 1862. feet symbolizing the sentiments of his music. Promenadenring park on May 22, For Dresden, but above all for This solemn tribute to Wagner’s genius is the 1913, Richard Wagner’s 100th his birthplace Leipzig, the Wagner work of the painter and sculptor Richard Leipzig birthday, only the steps were bicentenary is a chance to finally Guhr (1873-1956), an ardent admirer of the Richard Wagner was born on May 22, 1813 complete. step out of the overpowering composer. Completed in 1912 in model form, in an inn called the “Red and White Lion” on a In the turmoil of World War I, shadow of Bayreuth and attain the ensemble was forgotten in the aftermath street called the Brühl. His parents’ ninth child, and after Klinger’s death in 1920, recognition as key locations in of World War I. In 1928, the figures were cast he was baptized almost three months later at St. the monument idea was gradually Wagner’s biography. 2013 is the in bronze, and the monument’s official inau- Thomas’ Church. His birthplace was demolished forgotten. The almost-completed first major Wagner anniversary guration in the Liebethaler Gorge finally took in 1886 – the only visible reminder of it today plinth with scenes from famous since the political upheaval sur- place on May 21, 1933, the eve of the 120th is an outline on the facade of a now disused Wagner operas was erected in rounding the fall of the Berlin anniversary of Wagner’s birth. The huge sculp-

department store. The site is also identified by 1924 in the park on the outskirts Wall and the reunification of Ger- m b H /rene pech achsen ture, which almost ended up in the smelting a memorial plaque. Richard was a pupil at the of the city. And in the 1970s, the many in 1989/90. In communist furnaces during World War II, is the world’s Old St. Nicholas’ School between 1828 and steps were even cleared to make East Germany, although Wagner’s largest monument to Wagner. 1830, and the faithfully restored assembly hall way for the construction of an works were often performed at www.graupa-online.de has been named after him. From May, this hall imposing new regional headquar- theaters across the nation, authori- will host a permanent exhibition documenting ters for the East German secret ties largely avoided any sort of The imposing Wagner monument in the Liebethaler Gorge was unveiled on May 21, Wagner’s early life in Leipzig. Visitors to Leipzig police, the Stasi. public tribute to the composer. It 1933 and is the world’s largest tribute

can already explore the town’s “Wagner trails” But now, in the run up to the wasn’t until 1983, the 100th anni- ouris m us Marketing G esellscha f t S T to the composer. as detailed in a highly informative leaflet pub- 200th birthday of the great com- versary of his death, that Leipzig lished by the local Richard Wagner Association. poser, his hometown is making town council erected a bronze bust Oederan and Müglenz The trails lead to, among other places, the Old St. its second attempt to finally com- made to the specifications of Max John’s Cemetery, and the graves of his favorite plete the monument. In 2010, the Klinger’s 1904 design in a park Incorrigible Wagnerians will also find something to interest them in the tranquil village of Oederan on sister Rosalie and his mother Johanna. steps were reconstructed from close to the opera house. the edge of the Erz Mountains, some 50 kilometers to the southwest of Dresden. This is the birthplace www.kulturstiftung-leipzig.de the original parts and restored to In just a few months’ time, of , the first wife of Richard Wagner. Her name appears in the parish register of the local their original site; the plinth was Wagner will receive the great church on Oct. 8, 1809. Only in recent years has research into the life and work of Wagner assigned then added after a painstaking monument that his admirers more importance to the role played by Minna, highlighting her influence as worthy of greater attention. Wagner’s place of birth, Another largely unknown Wagner site is Müglenz, located in the administrative district of Leipzig to an inn called the “Red and White Lion,” restoration effort. And on May believe he has long deserved. the northwest of the town. This is the site of the church where Wagner’s great-grandfather worked in a photo from 1886. m us touris leipzig 22, a statue of Wagner will finally Stephan Balkenhol’s shows the be unveiled, a new design by the figure of the young composer on as a schoolmaster, cantor Ermlitz internationally renowned sculptor the brink of his career success, and organist, and where Stephan Balkenhol. when he was still an unknown. Wagner’s grandfather Ermlitz manor house, half an hour by car to the west of Leipzig town center, is an architectural The twists and turns of this par- Behind the figure looms a four- Gottlob Friedrich was and cultural gem. The estate was used as a summer residence by the Apel family, wealthy citizens ticular saga symbolize Leipzig’s meter silhouette, which symbol- born. Veteran Bayreuth of Leipzig. Young Richard was close friends with Guido Theodor Apel (1811-1867), who was two perpetually troubled relationship izes Wagner’s gigantic oeuvre, but Festival director Wolf- years his senior. The intensity of this friendship is evidenced by 42 letters written by Wagner between with the composer. It was an also its reception and interpreta- gang Wagner, Richard’s the years 1832 and 1836. The two met at St. Nicholas’ School, and their friendship flourished ambivalent relationship even when tion. There can be few better ways grandson, held a benefit through their shared love of music. Richard was often a guest at Ermlitz; he set one of his friend’s he was alive: The young musician to portray the intense complex- concert to raise funds for poems to music and wrote an overture to a play written by Apel titled “Columbus”. Follow- failed to attain his artistic break- ity of the relationship between a complete refurbishment m b H /rene pech achsen ing World War II, the through in his hometown, and Richard Wagner the man and of the church after 2001. manor house was used even later, many of his operas were the towering shadow cast by his www.oederan.de as a children’s home only performed there after much work. n until 1999. Since hesitation and foot-dragging. But The entry for Minna then, descendants of Planer, Wagner’s first this year, any lingering cracks are It’s all about Wagner – in Leipzig, the Apel family have wife, in the baptismal to be finally smoothed over: “Rich- Dresden and of course Bayreuth. carried out a faith- registry of

ard – Leipzig born and bred…” – is Other German cities are honoring ouris m us Marketing G esellscha f t S ful restoration of the Oederan church. T the slogan of the cultural program the composer in the programs of estate, which can be with which the city will honor the Führer picture-alliance/dpa/Marcus their opera houses. accessed on public musical genius. – he attended the School of the Apostles” in the Church of Our 13-02-13_111_ID100_eAz_Image_»Atlantic Times, German Times, Asia Pacific Times«_290x260mm Satzspiegel_4c (ZEITUNG)_oc_Fassung 02 guided tours. A new permanent exhibi- Holy Cross there for three-and- Lady, a powerful orchestral work www.kultur-gut- tion titled “The Young Richard a-half years from late 1822. for more than 100 musicians – an ermlitz.de Wagner, 1813 to 1834” is set Much more important are his ensemble to which he also added to open on the eve of the 200th activities at the Royal Saxon 1,200 choristers. In 1845, Wagner h E r r EN k NE c h T A G | UTI l IT y TUNNE l l ING | T r AFFI c TUNNE l l ING The young Wagner birthday in the Old St. Nicho- Court Theater, where he was completed “Tannhäuser,” which often visited his friend las School. Wagner attended the appointed director of music on became a huge hit across Germany Guido Theodor Apel in school for two-and-a-half years Feb. 2, 1843 by King Friedrich following its premiere in Dresden kultur-gut er m litz kultur-gut Ermlitz manor house. from January 1828, when he was August II. The lucrative post on Oct. 19, 1945. “Lohingrin” 14, after his widowed mother came his way as a result of two was composed in the years that Dresden returned to Leipzig with her chil- premieres performed in previ- followed. It is not easy to retrace the footsteps of Wagner in Dresden: Although he lived in a number of houses dren. But disheartened at being ous months: On Oct. 20, 1842, It was in Dresden that Wagner in the town, none of them has survived and some of the sites were lost to new construction a long time put into a lower class than at “” was performed at the finally developed into the out- ago. Even the places where he worked as Royal Saxon Court Conductor, for example the Semperoper his previous school, he lost his Dresden Court Theater to great standing artistic figure who revo- opera house or the Church of Our Lady, are now only reconstructions of the original buildings. But a enthusiasm for study and left with acclaim. The “Flying Dutch- lutionized the music of his time. small detour to Hosterwitz on the outskirts of the town provides a highly authentic detail of Wagner’s extremely bad grades. man” however, an opera far Both these operas, written in biography: This is the location of the former summer residence of Carl Maria von Weber, whose Even at this early age, Wagner ahead of its time, also performed Dresden for the most part, took opera “Freischütz” so captivated the young Richard and sparked his musical interest. In fact Wagner the autodidact had already begun here on Jan. 2, 1843, was given theaters across Europe by storm. was so enamored by his idol, who died in London in 1826, that he arranged for Weber’s remains to to apply himself to writing poetry a lukewarm reception. Dresden, accordingly, is bask- be brought to Dresden in 1844, and ensured that the composer was buried with appropriate dignity and composing. He switched to Notoriously saddled with debts, ing in the Wagner glory of the and honor. He delivered St. Thomas School, which he then Wagner was now at least able bicentennial year with the brash a moving eulogy at the left after just a few months with- to placate his creditors to some slogan: “Where Wagner evolved tomb, which survives out graduating, to register for extent with his regular income, into WAGNER”. to this day at the Old “studiosus musicae” at the uni- but it wasn’t long before he was Christian Thielemann was Catholic Cemetery, and versity in February 1831. During again living beyond his means. appointed chief conductor of the which was designed this time, he studied composition However, the Dresden years Saxon Staatskapelle orchestra last by . with the St. Thomas choirmaster until 1849 were characterized by summer. The Wagner specialist Wagner also composed Christian Theodor Weinling, who intensive artistic activity and a has regularly performed to great the funeral music. recognized and encouraged his relatively modest lifestyle – at acclaim at the www.museen- m b H /rene pech achsen talent. As well as a number of least in contrast to the preceding since 2000. And of course, the dresden.de initial compositions, Wagner also turbulent itinerant period. maestro is not going to pass up the wrote articles for the “Zeitung für In the summer of 1843, Wagner opportunity to celebrate Wagner Wagner’s musical idol die elegante Welt” (Newspaper staged his “Love-Feast of the in a fitting manner. was Carl Maria von for the Elegant World), rooted in BUIlDING ThE FUTUrE TOGEThEr. Weber, whose summer the literary-revolutionary Young residence on the Germany movement. In this outskirts of Dresden is Herrenknecht is a technology and market leader in the tunnel boring machines are forging ahead with the

ouris m us Marketing G esellscha f t S way, during his time in Leipzig, open to visitors. T the highly gifted young Wagner area of mechanized tunnelling systems. As the only world’s longest railway tunnel and the largest metro Graupa equipped himself with the musical company worldwide, Herrenknecht delivers cutting- lines. They help to cross under water with supreme and literary tools to accompany edge tunnel boring machines for all ground conditions accuracy and to lay pipelines throughout continents. In the summer of 1846, Wagner escaped the stresses and strains of his job as Royal Court Conductor him on his unrelenting journey and in all diameters – ranging from 0.10 to 19 meters. The Herrenknecht Group employs around 5,000

in Dresden and headed for the region known as Saxon Switzerland, to the little village of Graupa. Here, through half of Europe, which m b H /rene pech achsen In addition, Herrenknecht develops solutions for the members of staff worldwide. With 77 subsidiaries and he rented a simple apartment in what was then known as the “Shepherd’s Estate” – now the he began when he eventually left House. For a time, he and his wife Minna enjoyed the simple life in an attempt to “completely forget Leipzig in 1834. production of vertical and sloping shafts. associated companies working in related fields in Ger- about making music”. Wagner evidently couldn’t do this for very long, and produced the entire composi- For a long time, Wagner’s The tailor-made machines create underground many and abroad, a team of innovative specialists has tional draft of “Lohengrin” during this “holiday,” from mid-May to late July. A memorial to the famous birthplace failed to bestow supply tunnels for water and sewage, for gas, oil, elec- formed under the umbrella of the Group, which is able summer guest and his creative activities was established in the former farmstead as early as 1907. There appropriate reverence on the tricity, internet and telephone lines (Utility Tunnelling) to provide integrated solutions with project-specific is a former royal hunting composer, a fact partly due to lodge close by, which since as well as efficient infrastructure for car, metro and equipment and service packages – close to the project

Leipzig’s enduring rivalry with ouris m us Marketing G esellscha f t S the beginning of the year T fellow Saxon town Dresden. In A new exhibition opening on May 21 examines the composer’s time railway traffic (Traffic Tunnelling) around the world. Our site and the customer. and after extensive reno- the case of Dresden, Richard’s in Saxony. It will be housed in Old St. Nicholas’ School in Leipzig, vation, has been devoted childhood is of less importance where Wagner himself was a pupil. to remembering Wagner’s life and work, with six thematically-organized Wagner’s 200th birthday celebration in Leipzig and Dresden rooms addressing central Leipzig: The highlight is the Wagner Festival from Dresden: A performance of the “Love-Feast of the aspects of his oeuvre and achsen m b H /rene pech achsen May 16 – 26, with the main official ceremony on May Apostles” will take place in the Frauenkirche (Church its reception. 22. The program also includes numerous opera and of Our Lady) on May 18. Other events include a new www.wagnerstaetten.de concert performances, city walkabouts and excursions production of “The Flying Dutchman” (from June) Herrenknecht AG focused on Wagner’s life, exhibitions, lectures and a vast number of other concerts and opera D-77963 Schwanau Phone + 49 7824 302-0 A new exhibition on and an academic conference. The Museum of City performances. A special exhibition at the Dresden Fax + 49 7824 3403 Wagner’s life and works History presents the exhibition “Richard Wagner – his City Museum (from April 27) retraces the footsteps of [email protected] opened in the newly passions and burdens” (from March 13). Wagner in Dresden. www.herrenknecht.com restored Graupa Hunting ouris m us Marketing G esellscha f t S T Lodge in January. www.richard-wagner-leipzig.de www.dresden.de/wagner

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