Bayreuth Stipendium

An Incredible Opportunity

The Richard Wagner Scholarship Foundation awards young people between 18 and 35 years old – aspiring singers, instrumentalists, and stage professionals – a stipendium that allows them to visit the Bayreuth Festival with over 200 young people from around the world in an atmosphere of artistry and exchange.

In addition to attending three opera performances, stipendiaten are offered accommodations, lectures and tours, and social receptions. Awardees are nominated by local Wagner Societies around the world.

We are proud to announce our three Stipendiaten for the 2024 Bayreuth Festival: Jacob Brown, a New York-based scenic designer; Caroline Couch, a BA-MPA student at New York University and Executive Director of chamber music ensemble Village Verein; and Tengku Irfan, a student of Orchestral Conducting at The Juilliard School. For more information, click here.

Information for 2025 will be posted here when available.



Joseph Parrish

“Bayreuth changed my life. Prior to 2022, I had some knowledge of Wagner and the Festival, and was aware of Wagner’s influence on tonality and harmonic structure. However, his gargantuan reputation was intimidating and, because of that, I was not enthusiastic about learning his music. It was not until 2022, when I was an Apprentice Artist in the chorus of Tristan und Isolde with Sante Fe Opera, that I had an opportunity to be immersed in the music – and only then because I had a vested interest. Then in 2023, I was the recipient of WSNY’s Bayreuth Stipendium, an annual scholarship program that gives participants the opportunity to experience three operas, attend lectures on his music, and connect with other young singers, as well as instrumentalists, directors, coaches, conductors, costume designers, and scholars. The performances I attended were dynamic, varied, and superb musically. The Festspielhaus is rife with pageantry and symbolism. Each evening’s performance may begin on the lawn with refreshments, conversations, and, for me, much-needed German practice. … The Bayreuth Festival reinvigorated my love for opera. Seeing three varied and contrasting shows made for diverse musical and dramatic experiences, all of which ranked 11 out of 10. … The overture of Dutchman burned through the house like wildfire. … The performances ignited a new sense of responsibility and dedication to my own musicianship. This musical awakening is only attainable at the Bayreuth Festival, due to its specific history; it stands alone in its musicianship, inventiveness, and faithfulness to Wagner’s legacy. My experience as a Stipendium recipient was rich with learning, culturally enriching experiences, and fabulous performances. I am a better artist as a result.”


Griffin Kaiser

“I had the privilege to attend the Bayreuth Festival on the scholarship program in August of 2021. I was not prepared for what I was about to witness during my stay. Everything about Bayreuth during that time of year is centered wholly around the artistry and discussion of Wagner’s works, and the scholarship program was certainly no exception. I can truthfully say that I have never experienced such a rapid succession of profound artistic experiences one after another than I did during my stay. Seeing Wagner’s dramas in the Festspielhaus is an unparalleled experience, thanks to its revolutionary design and exceptional acoustics, leaving the viewer completely engrossed in the sonic and dramatic worlds of his creation. And whenever the music wasn’t playing, discussions unfolded among my peers—a diverse group of talented artists with backgrounds ranging from stage directors and philosophy students to singers and musicians. These conversations would fill the entirety of the two hour-long intermissions of each performance and would often continue late into the early hours of the morning. The team from the Richard Wagner Scholarship Foundation in Bayreuth, responsible for planning our visit, enriched the week with additional memorable experiences, including tours, receptions, a concert for artists on the scholarship program, and time to fully embrace the Bayreuth experience. Gustav Mahler’s description of his experience in Bayreuth resonated with my own. He wrote: ‘When I came out of the Festspielhaus, I realized that I had undergone the greatest and most soul-searching experience of my life and that I would carry that experience with me for the rest of my days.’ I suspect that there are many more pilgrimages to this special place in store for me after this first magnificent experience. I am grateful to the Wagner Society of New York, the Richard Wagner Scholarship Foundation for this extraordinary journey and for the enduring friendships I made along the way.”


The Wagner Society of New York plans a series of English-language events, open to all, during the festival. Past activities have included lectures, talks with performing artists, dinners, walking tours and excursions. See our calendar for more info.