Remember that Siemens was sponsoring the popular Siemens Festspielnacht in Bayreuth, and each year one opera would be live broadcast on a big screen in front of thousands of people from Northern Bavaria who otherwise wouldn't be able to experience one of the Festival operas.
The screenings were cherished by everyone for many different reasons, and it was compatible with the Wagner's original idea to organize the festival that would make his Gesamtkunstwerk accessible to all the people.
The webcast --also sponsored by Siemens-- helped many Wagnerites around the world, who either weren't lucky to score a ticket for the festival or simply couldn't afford all the expenses, to see one opera every year.
Bad news, last September, was that Siemens would stop sponsoring these popular events, and without their 1 million € no more webcast, nor "Siemens Festival Nights", could be ensured.
This week Welt reports that the trade unions in Bayreuth were not happy at all about the cancellation of the public screenings, insisting that it was against the Richard Wagner's idea, the access to the culture that closes to the rich few... They go on by saying that the rich 10%, not only own 60% of the country's assets, but also 100% of the Festspiel tickets.
And so the unionists are in negotiations with the Festival's management, and threaten to mobilize and occupy the Green Hill next July 25.
Read more here.
Passions around and about Wagner & his heritage never end...