The premiere production of the Sofia Opera "Die Walküre" will be presented in Füssen
26 Sep 2023Sofia Opera and Ballet

The premiere production of the Sofia Opera "Die Walküre" will be presented in Füssen

From 28 September to 3 October, will be held the Second Königswinkel Music Festival, dedicated to King Ludwig II and Richard Wagner, which presents a varied and high-quality programme.

Festival events 2023
Two performances of Richard Wagner's "Die Walküre" and five concerts in four of the most beautiful Baroque and Renaissance churches in the Königswinkel area and in the Neuschwanstein Festival Hall comprise the programme.


At the Ludwig Festival Theatre on 1 and 3 October the audience will be able to see the new production of the Sofia Opera, which premiered in Sofia on 9 July 2023, directed by Plamen Kartaloff – one of Wagner's most sought-after directors. The conductor will be Lothar Zagrosek. This year, on 17 February, the renowned maestro conducted a spectacle of Ludwig van Beethoven's "Fidelio" in Sofia, with the participation of the world-famous singer Kurt Rydl as Rocco.


The Sofia Opera has its loyal fans in Füssen. In 2015, by special invitation, Plamen Kartaloff's first production of "Der Ring des Nibelungen" was presented in the wonderful hall.

"For the first time a foreign Wagnerian production will be shown on a German stage – the Bulgarian National Opera of Sofia will be guest with the tetralogy "Der Ring des Nibelungen" at the Festival Theatre... With its first own rendition of the opera tetralogy, the Sofia Opera attracted the attention of Wagnerians from all over the world," noted Blickpunkt Rathaus in 2015.

From 8 to 13 July this year, Plamen Kartaloff performed Wagner's four titles with an entirely new vision on the occasion of the 210th anniversary of the composer's birth. His partners in this spectacular undertaking were conductor Constantin Trinks, set designer Hans Kudlich and costume designer Hristiyana Mihaleva-Zorbalieva. Only "Die Walküre" will be presented in Füssen. German and international audiences will hear almost the same premiere soloist cast: Mariana Zvetkova will be Fricka, Gergana Rusekova – Brünnhilde, Tsvetana Bandalovska – Sieglinde, Martin Iliev – Siegmund. The eight Valkyries are Ayla Dobreva, Silvia Teneva, Lyubov Metodieva, Ina Kalinova, Elena Mehandzhiyska, Tsveta Sarambelieva, Alexandrina Stoyanova-Andreeva and Vesela Yaneva. The two changes are in the performers of Hunding and Wotan. The German audience will hear Bjarni Thor Kristinsson as Hunding and Aris Argiris as Wotan.

The introduction to the opera "Die Walküre" during the festival will be by Detlev Eisinger, who for many years gave these lectures in Bayreuth at the Bayreuth Festival.

There are many more accompanying events in the festival programme. Chamber concerts with musicians from all over the world are planned in the famous Baroque and Renaissance churches. The Schumann Trio will perform at the St. Ulrich Church, Seeg; the Henschel Piano Trio at the St. Nikolaus Church, Pfronten; the organist Hansjörg Albrecht at St. Mang Church, Füssen; Christoph Poppen and the musicians of his Portuguese festival in Marvão at the St. Johannes the Baptist Church, Welfenmünster in Steingaden


Special tours of the Neuschwanstein Castle, visits to the churches, a grand gala dinner after the two opera performances with the artists in the Romantic Restaurant complete the varied programme.

The partners
Königswinkel-Klassik, together with the two international festivals Prague Easter Festival (1-9 April 2023) and Marvão International Music Festival 2023 (FIMM) (21-30 July 2023), founded the European Festival Association "More Europe through Music" under the patronage of His Excellency Luis de Almeida Sampaio, Ambassador of Portugal.

The cooperation, which is planned over several years, involves not only mutual promotion but also synergistic cooperation in many areas. Within this framework, joint chamber concerts and artist exchanges are planned.

The founder of the festival is Königswinkel-Klassik. Claudia Roth, Minister of State for Media and Culture, is its patron.

In the first edition of the festival in 2021 was presented the opera "Tristan und Isolde".


"Die Walküre" - background
One hundred and fifty-three years ago in Munich was the premiere of "Die Walküre". Richard Wagner had big plans for the opera. He wanted to premiere it as part of his gigantic total work of art "Der Ring des Nibelungen" on a stage specially created for it in Bayreuth. But things turned out differently.

From the world of dwarves and gods in "Das Rheingold", the action in "Die Walküre" moves to the world of men. Chance brings together the separated twins Siegmund and Sieglinde, who fall passionately in love. This staged violation of taboo meets the harsh rejection of Wagner's contemporaries.

The most popular part of the opera is the Ride of the Valkyries in Act III. Francis Ford Coppola made it world famous by including it in the music for the film "Apocalypse Now".

The musical drama has much more to offer: dramatic sword fights, naive heroes and disillusioned gods, incest, painful decisions and mad love.

Richard Wagner composed this carousel of emotions between 1854 and 1856, but wanted to wait until the completion of the Bayreuth Festival Theatre to perform it. King Ludwig II of Bavaria, however, liked Richard Wagner's musical dramas so much that he didn't want to wait for "The Ring" to be performed in the countryside. So he ordered the premiere of "Die Walküre" to take place. Wagner's efforts to prevent this were in vain: "Die Walküre" was staged at the Munich Court and National Theatre on 26 June 1870 and was a great success. The composer was not present at the premiere.

The Festival Theatre – History

King Ludwig II commissioned Gottfried Semper to plan and build a festival theatre in Munich to present the works of Richard Wagner to the "Bavarian people". This plan was never carried out. In 2000, the Neuschwanstein Festival Theatre was built in Füssen, according to Semper's plans for Munich, located directly on Lake Forggensee, opposite Ludwig II's "fairytale castle Neuschwanstein".

The Festival Theatre, situated in a picturesque location on the lake overlooking the castle, is one of the most beautiful theatres in Europe. It is, among others, the charming original stage for the hit musicals about King Ludwig, which focus on the life and death of the famous ruler. Furthermore, the theatre's stated aim is to function as a cultural centre for the county of Ostallgäu.