Norwich to host opera festival celebrating Wagner

Theater Freiburg - Tannhaser. Photo: MAURICE KORBEL.

Theater Freiburg - Tannhaser. Photo: MAURICE KORBEL. - Credit: MAURICE KORBEL

A Norwich theatre is getting ready to welcome a special festival of opera featuring two of German composer Wagner's epic works this summer.

The German company Theater Freiburg is bringing the shows Parsifal and Tannhäuser to Norwich Theatre Royal in what is set to be one of the venue's largest-ever productions with a company of about 200 people.

Norwich Theatre Royal chief executive Peter Wilson said he was thrilled to be welcoming the major international opera company and that the festival was yet another great cultural event for Norfolk to shout about.

Both shows feature highly-regarded performers in the world of opera and carry the themes of legend and spirituality.

The short season will open on July 23 with Wagner's final opera, Parsifal, which tells the epic story of a fool who lives an isolated life before becoming the saviour of the world.

The company will also be presenting Tannhaüser, a heart-rending story of love, passion and spirituality which follows the young singer's pursuit of his love, strong beliefs and his bid to win a vocal competition.

Peter Wilson, Norwich Theatre Royal chief executive, said: 'I am absolutely thrilled that Theater Freiburg have agreed to come here for what will be an undoubted cultural success.

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'It is right that we should host a major international opera company. It is right that, in the anniversary year of the Great War, a major German company should be presenting the works of Wagner in England, and also to recognise the German culture is an extremely important part of their nation's psyche.

'It will also be a fantastic boost to the local economy. Around 200 people from the company alone will be in Norfolk for around 10 days who will need to stay here, eat here, and contribute to the county's coffers. There are plenty of events in the county to shout about and this is another really good opportunity to put Norfolk on the map.'

• Parsifal is at Norwich Theatre Royal on July 23 and 25 at 5pm. Tannhäuser is at the theatre on July 27 at 3pm and July 28 at 5pm. For more information and to book tickets call the box office on 01603 630000 or visit

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