Villa Wahnfried to be renovated

The German government has announced plans to invest €500,000 to renovate Wagner’s Villa Wahnfried in Bayreuth, South Germany.

The house was constructed between 1872 and 1874, sponsored by Wagner's royal patron Lugwig II of Bavaria. Wagner and his family moved into the house in April 1874 and it was here that he completed Götterdämmerung, the fourth opera of Der Ring des Nibelungen, the largest composition in music history. When Wagner died in Venice in 1883 his body was returned to Wahnfried and it was here where both he and his second wife Cosima were buried.

The villa is of historical importance, containing both archives and a museum. It is home to Wagner's Wahnfried piano which was presented to him by Steinway in 1876, and to the autograph scores of The Flying Dutchman, Tannhäuser, Lohengrin, Siegfried, Götterdämmerung, Tristan and Isolde, and Parsifal. The museum is to be extended to include an exhibition exploring the role which the Wagner family played in Nazi Germany.