Over Christmas I was sitting in front of the fire while my son fooled with the TV remote, flipping between two football games while checking his texts on the iPhone, and played with his two-year old daughter while offering enthusiastic and unsolicited advice about how cool Amazon Prime is. People my age ought to be […]
Richard Wagner is not the only artist who has provoked controversy because of his non-artistic conduct. Many lovers of art have reviled the artist. We can think of Ezra Pound, Philip Larkin, Christopher Marlowe, George Gordon Lord Byron, Albert Speer, and Robert Frost among those whose art we are eager to teach our children, but […]
The Wagner Society of New York — the largest in North America — reserves its Anton Seidel Award for the rare artist whose achievements in Wagner’s music have reached historic status. Past honorees have included James Levine, Birgit Nilsson and Plácido Domingo. This week the Society has announced a new honoree: The orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera. And well-deserved...
In Act II of Francesca Zambello’s production of Die Walküre, Wotan instructs Brünnhilde concerning Siegmund’s selection to Valhalla by referring to a square of cardboard, about 2 x 2, bearing his photograph. Later, as the Walküres assemble in Act III, each is bearing a similar photograph, black-and-white, closely cropped and resembling the photos of “this week’s […]
In a few weeks I’ll be privileged to see Francesca Zambello’s “American Ring” in San Francisco. I have done my best to remain ignorant of the production in order to enjoy surprise after surprise. (Oscar Wilde warned that “ignorance is like a delicate, exotic fruit: Touch it and the bloom is gone.”) Yet I do […]