What might one accomplish with an extra $36 million besides spending it to restore a Baroque-period theater that’s not even going to be used on a regular basis? Let’s set that question aside for a moment and take a look at this beauty: The Margravial Opera House of Bayreuth, Germany. Yes, that Bayreuth; the Bayreuth of Wagner Festival fame. In fact, Wagner really liked the little jewel of a theater, it just didn’t serve his big, uh, Wagnerian needs, so he built another theater to house performances of The Ring about a mile away. What makes the Margravial Opera House special, besides its indisputable beauty, is its historic connections. It was built under the supervision of Wilhelmine, the Margravina of Brandenburg-Bayreuth, (that sounds familiar!) who was the very accomplished sister of Frederick the Great. The invited audience at the re-opening was treated to a post-modern production of Johann Adolf Hasse’s opera Artaserse from 1730. Among the attendees were Wagner’s great-grand-daughter, as well as descendants of the now-defunct Prussian royal family. Check out the photos!

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