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Chéreau / Boulez
Der Ring des Nibelungen

 

Wagner's Parsifal

 


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Wagneropera.net - with a passion for Richard Wagner's operas

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Important years in Richard Wagner's life

1813 born in Leipzig
1834 Die Feen completed
1843 Holländer premiere
1845 Tannhäuser premiere
1850 Lohengrin premiere
1852 text of Rheingold and Walküre
1854 Das Rheingold completed
1856 Die Walküre completed
1859 Tristan completed
1865 Tristan premiere in Munich
1868 Meistersinger premiere
1869 Das Rheingold premiere
1870 Die Walküre premiere
1871 Siegfried completed
1874 Götterdämmerung completed
1876 First Festival in Bayreuth
1882 Parsifal premiere
1883 Wagner dies in Venice

 

Patrick Carnegy: Wagner and the Art of the Theatre

"My book is an attempt to answer the question, 'Why is it a good thing that operas can and should be done in very different ways?"
Patrick Carnegy to The Guardian

The production of Wagner’s operas is fiercely debated. In this groundbreaking stage history Patrick Carnegy vividly evokes the—often scandalous—great productions that have left their mark not only on our understanding of Wagner but on modern theatre as a whole. He examines the way in which Wagner himself staged his works, showing that the composer remained dissatisfied with even the best of his productions.

After Wagner’s death the scenic challenge was taken up by the Swiss visionary Adolphe Appia, by Gustav Mahler and Alfred Roller in Vienna, and by Otto Klemperer and Ewald Dülberg in Berlin. In Russia the Bolsheviks reinvented Wagner as a social revolutionary, while cinema left its indelible imprint on the Wagnerian stage with Eisenstein’s Die Walküre in Moscow in 1940.

Hitler famously appropriated Wagner for his own ends. Patrick Carnegy unscrambles the interaction of politics and stage production, describing how post-war German directors sought a way to bury the uncomfortable past. The book concludes with a critique of the iconoclastic interpretations by Patrice Chéreau, Ruth Berghaus, and Hans-Jürgen Syberberg.

 

"People who say that Wagner knew exactly how he wanted his works produced - so what right have you to stage the Ring on Mars or down a salt mine - are wrong," he says. "Wagner was precise [in his stage directions] because the theatrical world into which he launched his works was a total mess, and the quality was very poor. The reason he took such trouble was defensive: it wasn't so much that he knew what he wanted, but he jolly well knew what he didn't want."
Patrick Carnegy to The Guardian

Patrick Carnegy on the Bayreuth Festival

Patrick Carnegy first came to Bayreuth as a young critic in 1967. "I was bowled over," he said to The Guardian. "It was the year after Wieland Wagner had died; to be able to see his productions was a total knock-out. These bare stagings, where everything was done with lighting. The light changed with the music, and the shadows and patterns seemed as archetypal as the music itself. Nobody had done that on the stage before. I thought it was extraordinary and wonderful."
Patrick Carnegy to The Guardian

 

 

Norway mourns massacre victims

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