© Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, Siegfried 2019

News from the Committee

Riga. The Laying of the Foundation Stone for the renovation of the former German Theatre, the Wagner Theatre.
A report by President Rainer Fineske:

 May 22, 2023 was Richard Wagner's 210th birthday. This date was remembered by many of our Wagner friends in Riga, the city on the Daugava River, where Richard Wagner worked as Kapellmeister from 1837 to 1839 and where he composed a large part of Rienzi. The occasion this time was the laying of the foundation stone for the renovation of the former German Theatre, the Wagner Theatre.

Due to scheduling problems of the Latvian President and patron of the project, Egils Levits, the celebration took place in his presence on Sunday, May 21st. Maris Gailis, former Prime Minister of Latvia and current Chairman of RWV Riga, welcomed the President, the numerous guests of honour and guests who had travelled from Latvia and Germany. In his speech, Egils Levits emphasized the very good cooperation with the Federal Government and the Latvian State Government, both of which have contributed several million euros to the renovation of the theatre. Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, chairman of the German-Baltic Parliamentary Group, thanked his colleagues for their commitment to supporting the theatre and David Bartels, the permanent representative of the German Embassy in Latvia, spoke out as head of the economic department and as EU Commissioner for European Development for the further support of the theatre, even after its renovation.

Dr. Konrad Winckler read out the greeting of the former director of the Bayreuth Festival and patron, Eva Wagner-Pasquier, who unfortunately could not be present in person. The third patron of the project, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, was also excused. The Deputy Mayor of Riga, Linda Ozola, expressed her gratitude for the extraordinarily good cooperation between the Latvian government, the city of Riga and the Federal Government in Germany and for the extremely harmonious and effective cooperation for the financing of the project. The chairwoman of the Association Foundation of Baltic Knighthoods, Kerstin von Lingen, spoke of the great passion and enthusiastic financial support of her foundation for the former German Theatre.

In his speech, the President of the Richard Wagner Association International, Rainer Fineske, thanked the Richard Wagner Societies present, who had travelled from Berlin, Frankfurt am Main and Minden, and the numerous private donors who had made a considerable contribution to the theatre. Furthermore, he brought forward the greetings of the von Vietinghoff family, the direct descendants of the builder of the theatre, Otto Hermann Baron von Vietinghoff and the director of the Bayreuth Festival, Prof. Katharina Wagner.  

Special thanks go to Dr. Konrad Winckler from RWV Minden, who believed in the "Gesamtkunstwerk 21" project from the very beginning and of his own free will put an incredible amount of love, time and work as well as a lot of heart and soul. His contacts and connections are not only unique, but of immense importance for the further development of this project. Above all, the spirit of optimism and the common will to give the world back another authentic place where Richard Wagner worked, which is not only to be seen as a theatre and performance venue in the future, but above all, that the goal has been set for it to become a European music centre after its completion. The project "Gesamtkunstwerk 21" will not only be a house for music, but also in the spirit of Richard Wagner, a total work of art with the experience and training of all facets of musical life and their design for the future. For the realization of this future, it is essential that we continue to stand together at the side of this great project and continue to promote and support it with all our possibilities and donations, whether large or small.

In the great hope of your further donations, here are our international bank details: Richard-Wagner-Verband International e.V. BIC: BYLADEM1SBT IBAN: DE71 7735 0110 0009 0946 81 Keyword: Wagnertheater Riga.


1. Fineske, Gaillis, Maris.
2. The Master Brick-layers of Riga, f.l.: E Levits, R. Fineske, K. Winckler, Z. Gaile, L. Ozola. 2 unbekannt.
3. v.l. T. Fineske, s. Viska, R. Fineske, K.von Lingen, St.Grag Finckerstein, Z. Gaile, E. Levitz, B. Hagedorn, K. Winckler, M.Gaillis, J. Winckler, Dr. K. Wittman.
4. Parts from the time capsule, Meissner Porzellanmedaille Wagnerportrait.
5. Riga Grundsteinlegung, Wagnerbust.