© Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, Siegfried 2019


Wagner Congress in Brüssel. A report from Rainer Fineske
Berlin, 09.November 2022

After the cancelled congress in Madrid in 2022, the international Richard Wagner Congress took place in Brussels from 02.11.23- 06.11.2023 with numerous associations from all over the world.

The programme was put together by the Cercle belge francophone Richard Wagner in collaboration with the WagnerVrienden Oostende for our international associations and included numerous events with excursions, city tours, guided museum visits and excursions to Bruges and Antwerp. Including also the Assembly of Delegates, the opening dinner, gala dinner, visit to the opera "Das Rheingold" and a farewell reception, all guests agreed that there could finally be an all-round enjoyable congress at which all members from the very different associations between Europe, overseas and the German-speaking associations could exchange ideas and have interesting conversations.

There was also an international reunion with the Managing Director of the Scholarship Foundation, Mrs. Stephanie Kollmer, who this year delivered the greeting of Bayreuth's Lord Mayor Thomas Ebersberger at the Assembly of Delegates and the representative of the Bayreuth Festival, Mr. Ulrich Jagels, the Managing Director, who represented the Bayreuth Festival and its Artistic Director Prof. Katharina Wagner.

The Wagnerfriends Oostende invited our members to a day trip to Bruges and organized a piano recital with Marie Francois for the congress guests in the early evening at the Concertgebouw Bruges. The program included a pure Wagner/Liszt pieces, we found the program and the pianist so excellent that we decided, together with the chairman of the WagnerVrienden Oostende and Mr. Ulrich Jagels from the Festival, to send her to Bayreuth as a scholarship holder in 2024.

On Monday 06.11.23 there was an organized trip to Antwerp with numerous visits to historical buildings and churches on site and Elsa's castle with a city tour and lunch in the restaurant Het Elfde Gebod, equipped with numerous Madonnas and figures of saints, rescued from many destroyed or demolished churches in the city, an experience of a special kind. An all-round fabulous organization with many helpers involved, who were at our side in every respect and looked after us very well. My personal very big thanks go to Elizabeth Mollard, the soul of the entire organization, who led her with a strong yet sensitive hand and who was able to fulfill numerous wishes of our members with charm and great commitment. Thank you to all those who were involved in the organization and who together led the congress to a complete success. 


Rainer Fineske