The interactive Graphic Novel WAGNER FILES (App) explores exciting new ways of storytelling: through the fusion of animation, videos, historical letters, music scores and photographs, Wagner is experienced in a completely new light.
When Richard Wagner died on the 13th of February, 1883 in the arms of his wife Cosima, not only the life of one of the greatest musical geniuses of all times ended, but also a biography of fraud, evasion, adultery, anti-Semitism and a bizarre relationship with King Ludwig II. Who was Richard Wagner?
The interactive Graphic Novel WAGNER FILES - The App approaches this question on a completely new level. Wagner’s life is told in the manner of a Graphic Novel, spread out over 41 pages with 240 animated images. Around 40 historical documents such as pictures, letters etc. are embedded in the narrative which the user can access via interactive points. The user decides how he wants to experience the story: reading it by swiping through the pages – or listening by activating the voices of the well-known actors Pegah Ferydoni and Samuel Finzi. Additionally, the narrative is accompanied by 60 minutes of original Wagner music.
Numerous special features like an interactive map or interviews with leading Wagner experts such as Katharina Wagner (great-granddaughter and director of the Bayreuth Festival), Simone Young (musical director of the Opera Hamburg), the conductor Philippe Jordan, Cosima-biographer Oliver Hilmes etc. add up to a complex image of this controversial composer.
An extraordinary highlight is the “music machine“ by the American music animator Stephen Malinowski: he transforms the overture of “The Flying Dutchman“ note by note into animated circles, lines and squares. Malinowski, who has recently worked for Björk, is a star in the online-community; his visualisations of classical music have received over 100 million views.
The App was developed in the Crossmedia-Department of gebrueder beetz filmproduction. After successful web-based projects such as “Farewell Comrades! Interactive“ or “Empire Me“, WAGNER FILES - The App is the first product that has been developed for tablets and smartphones. Creative Director is Uwe Flade, whose App “Sleep Well“ was awarded “App of the Year“ in 2011. The Graphic Novel is written by Andreas Völlinger, the art and coloration is done by the famous illustrator Flavia Scuderi.
WAGNER FILES – The App is part of the cross-medial production “The Culture Files“, consisting of the Graphic Novel “Wagner“ (print) and the documentary “THE WAGNER FILES“ (90/52min) that was successfully broadcasted on ARTE on Mai 22nd and on SWR on Mai 29th, 2013.
The full German version will be on the App Store on July 23, shortly before the opening of the “Bayreuther Festspiele”. On this day, the Graphic Novel (print) will be published by Knesebeck. The international version (English/French/Japanese) will be available in August 2013.