It is well known that Richard Wagner also tried to build a festival theater in Baden-Baden. Less explored are his visits to the then highly-esteemed soprano Pauline Viardot, who lived in Baden-Baden. Wagner had the opera star explain to him the distinctive features of French and Italian opera singing, and discussed – we are now entering the realm of speculation – their differences to the combination of bel canto and text comprehensibility that he was striving for. Kirill Petrenko, the chief conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker, can already look back on many successful productions of Richard Wagner's operas. And Wagnerians are not the only ones eagerly awaiting this gala.