Psychoanalysts Steven H. Goldberg, M.D., and Lee Rather, Ph.D., have edited an enjoyable collection of essays under the title “Opera on the Couch: Music, Emotional Life, and Unconscious Aspects of Mind” (Routledge 2022). Three of the essays address Wagner characters: Senta, Walther and Tristan. L. Eileen Keller, Ph.D., a psychoanalyst in private practice in California, authored...
Barry Kosky’s new production of Die Meistersinger at Bayreuth is a polemic, suggesting that, in creating the role of Sixtus Beckmesser, Wagner intended to warn his audiences to reject the harmful influence of Jews on the integrity of German art. Kosky asks further whether, in feeding this pernicious strain of German anti-Semitism, Wagner, along with […]
It’s one thing to impose an external “konzept” onto a dramatic work and shove the piece unwillingly through it. American audiences refer to the results as “Eurotrash,” and I would choose the recent, unlamented Bayreuth production of Tannhäuser – staging the work as a divertissement for the workers of a biogas factory in order to investigate […]
The knight Walther is too often experienced by the audience through Eva’s eyes – handsome, strong, rebellious within acceptable boundaries, virile, dashing, a born artist and a hell of a tenor. A recent performance of avid McVicar’s insightful Gyndebourne/Chicago/San Francisco production, and a careful listen to the Reginald Goodall English-language recording, suggests that the truth […]
About ten years ago, during a road trip through South Carolina, a dear friend from England began talking to me about a dream he’d had. Oh stop, I implored. Please don’t even start this. Dreams are by their nature indescribable. They are subliminal events, fruit of the id, and any attempt to render them into […]