International May Theater Festival
May 1 - May 21
At the time of Wilhelm II’s reign as German emperor, Wiesbaden had become Germany’s most modern spa town. In accordance with Richard Wagner’s festival aspirations in Bayreuth, Georg von Hülsen, the artistic director of the royal court opera, came up with the idea to regularly host a ‘Spring Festival’ in Wiesbaden, which would serve to turn the occasion of the emperor’s stay at the spa into a representatively artistic and social event. And so, ‘by the highest order,’ the first Maifestspiele (May Festival) was held from 6-19 May, 1896, in the presence of the emperor and empress.