TagParsifal

Opera Social and Opera Deviant

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Axel Englund, Professor of Literature at Stockholm University, suggests that the core of our fascination with opera is its deviance.  In his book Deviant Opera: Sex, Power & Perversion on Stage (Univ. Cal. Press 2020), Englund posits that this form of theatre is distinguishable by its deviance from expected norms: Its characters are overblown, its costumes and setting are extravagant, its...

Roger Scruton’s Posthumous Volume on Parsifal

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The late philosopher Roger Scruton wrote two valuable studies of Wagner’s mature works:  Death-Devoted Heart: Sex and the Sacred in Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde (2004) and The Ring of Truth: The Wisdom of Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung (2016).  At the time of his death on January 12, 2020, Scruton had completed but not published his third and final Wagner study, Wagner’s...

Vienna’s New Parsifal

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Classic dramatic structure requires that a play feature a climax—a single moment in the action, necessary to the narrative, when the protagonist achieves self-awareness, accepts fate, and performs the action that the plot requires.  In Hamlet, it is the moment that prompts his declaration “The point envenomed too?  Then, venom, do thy work,” and fatally […]

Parsifal and Wagner’s Theology

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After just an unconscionably long time, I have finally got to page 319 of Richard H. Bell’s fine study, Wagner’s Parsifal: An Appreciation in the Light of His Theological Journey.  I am very grateful to Mr. Bell for his discipline and erudition, and for shedding light on both the splendid final work of this master […]

Francois Girard’s Parsifal at the Met

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Readers of this blog will know that the broad condemnations of Peter Gelb’s leadership at the Metropolitan Opera seem to me like warnings of falling asteroids — they simply don’t conform to my personal experience.  And the just-closed run of Parsifal is in keeping with this record.  It was impeccably cast, ravishingly played, movingly conducted, thrillingly […]

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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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