THE BAYREUTH EDITION
There are two versions of this release, one on DVD, the other stereo records. Both are sold at super-budget price, well under $100.

DIE FLIEGENDE HOLLUANDER (August 14, 2014).
Ricarda Narbeth (Senta). Samuel Youn (The Durchman). Franz-Josef Seleg (Daland). omislav Muzek (Eik). Christa Maye (Marty). Benjamin Brins (The Steersman).Conductor: Christian Thielemann (Jily 5, 2013).
TANNHAUSER (August 12, 2014).
Torsten Kerl (Tannhäuser). Markus Eiche (Wolfram). Lothar Odinius (Walter). Camila Nylund (Elsabeth). Michele Breedt (Venus). Thomas Jesatko (Biterolf). Conductor: Alex Kober.
LOHENGRIN (August 14, 2011).
Klaus Florian Voight (Lohengrin). Georg Zeppenfeld (König Heinrich). Annette Dasch (Elsa). Jukka Rasilainen (Telramund). Petra Lang (Ortrud). Samuel Youn (King's Herald). Conductor: Andris Nelsons
DIE WALKÜRE (July/ August 2014)
Endrik Wottricj (Siegmund). Kwangchul Youn) (Hunding). Albert Dohmen (Wotan). Eva-Maria Westbroek (Sieglinde). Linda Watson (Brüunhilde). Michele Breedt (Frieka). Conductor: Christian Thielemann
TRISTAN AND ISOLDE (2009 Festival)
Robert Dean Smith (Tristan). Irene Theorin (Isolde). Michelle Breadt (Btangäne). Robert Holl (Kind Marke). Jukka Rasilainen (Kurwena).( Ralf Lukas (Melot). Conductor: Peter Schneider
DIE MEISTERSINGER (2008 Festival).
Franz Hawlata (Hans Sachs). Artur Korn (Pogner). Michael Volle ( Beckmesser). Klaus Florian Vogt (Walter). Norbert Ernst (David). Michaela Kaune (Eva). Magdalene Carola Guber (Magdalene). Cnductor: Sebastian Weigle
DAS RHEINGOLD (July / August 2008).
Albert Dahmen (Wotan). Ralf Lukas (Donner). Clemens Bieber (Froh). Arnold Bezuyen (Loge). Andrew Shore (Alberich). Gerhard Siegel (Mime). Kwangchul Youn (Fasolt). Hans0Peter König (Fafner)Michelle Breedt (Fricka). Edith Haller (Freia). Christa Mayer (Erda). Conductor: Christian Thielemann
SIEGFRIED (July / August 2014)
Stephen Gouyld (Siegfried). Gerhard Siege (Mime). Albert Eohmen (Wanderer). Andrew Shore (Alberich). Hans-Peter König (Alberich). Linda Watson (Brünnhide). Christa Mayer (Erda). Robin Johannsen (Woodbird). Conductor: Christian Thielemann
GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG (Juy / August 2014)
Linda Watson (Brünnhilde). Stephen Goud (Siegfried). Ralf Lukas (GiuGunther). Albert Shore (Aberich). Hans-PeterKönig (Hagen). Edith Haller (Gutrune). Conductor: Christian Thieemann

All of these live performances were recorded at the Bayreuth Festival 2008 - 2014. Opus Arte has released them here in two formats: a boxed set contains DVD versions of all of the operas except Reingold, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung (OPuS ARTE B0123CBFWY ). Each has the original DVD booklet (although through some fluke, my copy of the Dutchman contained only one disk). Christian Thielemann conducts all except Lohengin, which is directed by Andris Nelsons in his only Bayreuth appearance, Tristan and Isolde (Peter Schneider), Tannhäuser (Alex Kober), and Meistersinger (Sebastian Weigle).

The other version of The Bayreuth Edition contains all seven music dramas in the DVD set, plus Das Rheingold, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung (OPUS ARTE B0986FZ9VC - 30 stereo disks). It seems odd that these are stereo and not multi-channel —t hey were recorded in superb multi-channel heard on the DVDs. The CD set is a flimsy affair, each of the 30 CDs in a paper jacket with no ID on the outside. A 40-page booklet contains no program notes but gives track listings in detail. It is unfortunate these are stereo rather than SACD, as sonically these are magnificent. ththroughout on the DVDs.

Ever since the Bayreuth Festival began in 1876 it has been the focus of Wagner performances. Most of the great singers of the era performed there, and there are many recordings and videos of outstanding productions. In 2008, unfortunately, Wagner's great grand daughter, Katerina Wagner,r and Eva Wagner-Pasquier (who is the daughter of Wolfgang Wagner) became the directors. They unsuccessfully attempted to up-date and modernize Wagner's masterpieces, producing some travesties in the opera world—Wagner must be turning in his grave. Fortunately the two misguided directors are now out of the picture but their influence remains. Worst of all is Tristan and Isolde (REVIEW). Not as offensive is The Flying Dutchman, but all of these productions are updated. The Orchestra and Chorus are perfection. Some of the singers are excellent, particular Klaus Florian Vogt as Lohenrin.

This super-budget priced DVD collection certainly is a good buy should you wish to investigate the aberrations that began in 2008. Otherwise, there are many other recordings and videos of all of these Wagner masterpieces that better display what Wagner intended.

R.E.B. (October 2021)