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Das Liebesverbot in Leipzig


Wagner approached Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure intending, at the outset, to “take the seriousness out of it.”  This is like adapting Hamlet but skipping the part about the Dad’s murder.  The result is fundamentally flawed unless you forget the Shakespeare entirely and take Das Liebesverbot on its own terms.  Once that adjustment is made, it becomes interesting and, as evidence of Wagner’s...

Die Feen at Leipzig


On a dreary, cloudy, drizzly, chilly afternoon in Leipzig, the Wagner 22 Festival got off to a happy start with a performance of Wagner’s earliest work, Die Feen. I had never heard a note of this piece until this fine performance and I found it entrancing.  I had been told that this was 20-year old Wagner’s attempt to model Weber’s Die Freischütz, but I kept hearing Beethoven in this young...

Wagner: The Complete Experience


Retired British family physician Paul Dawson-Bowling has written a splendid second and enlarged edition of his 2013 volume, Wagner: The Complete Experience and Its Meaning to Us.  I intend taking it with me to the Wagner 22 festival at the Leipzig Opera later this month.  Before extolling its virtues, I owe Dr. Dawson-Bowling a sincere apology. Readers of this blog may be aware that I am a...

Ring Cycle in Newark Walk-Up


Trilogy, An Opera Company is in the midst of building a Ring Cycle in a TV studio located on the fourth floor of Express Network, a converted department store near the campus of Rutgers University in Newark.  It’s great! Trilogy is a performing arts company that “focuses on the works of Black composers and subject matter relative to the Black experience.”  It is devoted to...

Bayreuth 2021


Forty years after reporting on my first visit to Bayreuth, the city in the time of Covid is, in many respects, eerie.  Familiar shops and restaurants have gone out of business from the cancellation of last year’s Festival, and the reduction of this year’s visitors by half meant an unsettling lack of queues.  From the yellowing paper in the window of the closed wine store Süsse Quelle on the...

The Wagner Blog

The Wagner Blog is a forum for discussion of contemporary themes arising from the works of Richard Wagner. Discussions relating to Wagner’s musical, literary, theatrical, philosophical, political and theoretic work are all appropriate for this forum.

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