01 November 2016

The November 2016 issue (vol.10, no.3) of The Wagner Journal


The November 2016 issue (vol.10, no.3) of The Wagner Journal, contains the following articles:
  • Daniel Sheridan on the 1850 premiere of Lohengrin and its contribution to Weimar’s cultural heritage
  • Eva Rieger on Frida Leider and her controversial career in 1930s Germany
  • Jonas Karlsson on little-known Wagnerian iconography in the satirical journal Kladderadatsch, 1914–1944
Plus reviews of: the new Parsifal and revived Tristan at Bayreuth, Daniel Kramer's Tristan at ENO, David Bösch's Die Meistersinger in Munich, Graham Vick's Tristan in Berlin, Francesca Zambello's Ring in Washington and Mariame Clément's Das Liebesverbot in Mulhouse

DVD of Katharina Wagner's Bayreuth Tristan

Books: Roger Scruton's The Ring of Truth: The Wisdom of Wagner's 'Ring of the Nibelung'; Barry Emslie's Speculations on German History: Culture and the State; Peter Franklin's Reclaiming Late-Romantic Music: Singing Devils and Distant Sounds; and Ortrun Landmann, Wolfgang Mende and Hans-Günter Ottenberg (ed.), Richard Wagner: Kgl. Kapellmeister in Dresden

Subscribe to The Wagner Journal here

01 August 2016

The Wagner Journal

A new issue of The Wagner Journal is out.

Here are some of the content:

  • 'The "Missing Link" in the Evolution of Wagner's Siegfried by Edward A. and Paula M. Bortnichak
  • 'Wagner's Siegfried Act III Scene 1: A Study in "Renunciation of the Will" and the "Sublime" by Richard H. Bell
  • 'Steadfast and Upstanding: Franz Wilhelm Beidler, Richard Wagner's Eldest Grandson' by Dagny Beidler


Reviews of:

  • Christopher Alden's Tristan und Isolde in Karlsruhe, Mario Corradi's Tannhäuser in Aachen, Mariusz Trelinski's Tristan und Isolde in Baden-Baden, Philipp Stölzl's Rienzi in Berlin and Lynn Binstock's The Rinse Cycle in London
  • DVDs of various productions at Bayreuth over the last decade
  • CDs of Lohengrin conducted by Hans Knappertsbusch in Munich (1963) and by Karl Böhm in Vienna (1965), of Die Walküre and Siegfried conducted by Marek Janowski (1981–2), and of Wagner-inspired choral works under the title Rheinmädchen
  • Bernd Weikl's Swastikas on Stage: Trends in the Productions of Richard Wagner's Operas in German Theaters Today, Gunther Braam's Richard Wagner in der zeitgenössischen Fotografie, The Oxford Handbook of Opera, ed. Helen M. Greenwald and Christian Thielemann's My Life with Wagner

Bortnichak on Frank Castorf's Ring production at Bayreuth

On The Wagner Journal's website you can read an extended essay by Edward A. & Paula M. Bortnichak on Frank Castorf's Ring production at Bayreuth.

The authors discuss the bold interpretations of Wagner's works at Bayreuth over the last decade in the context of deconstructionist approaches to literature and theatre, concluding with a dramaturgical analysis of the Castorf Ring.

This landmark article should prove invaluable to anyone intending to see the production, but will also make stimulating and enlightening reading for anyone interested in the staging of Wagner's works in the modern era. The article and other free content can be accessed here.

Read the essay herehttp://www.thewagnerjournal.co.uk/castorfring.html

16 June 2016

Wagner weekend 5-7 August

Wagner weekend 5-7 August: In the beautiful seaside village of Port Erin Isle of Man in WW2 the village became the Womens and Childrens Internment camp.

Friedelind Wagner who had fled Germany and taken refuge in Britain was interned with many other refugees in the camp.

Eva Rieger was Born in the same camp. She is a leading authority on Wagner and acclaimed biographer of Friedelind. She will be giving a lecture alongside Dagny Bielder, Wagners Gt Grand
daughter.

The weekend is filled with associations of Wagner and the Internment Camp Music

Tickets £20 for the weekend
44 0 1624 834614 for information

07 April 2016

Appreciating Tristan und Isolde at the Frontline Club



David Nice (author of this post) has been running the Opera in Depth course at the wonderful Frontline Club in Paddington for nearly two years now, after 25 years of Opera in Focus at the City Lit. We devoted on whole term last season to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and were delighted to welcome Richard Jones back to the course to talk about his production in its second incarnation, at English National Opera. This summer we look at the darker companion piece, Tristan und Isolde, to tie in with another ENO production - this time a brand-new one from Daniel Kramer with Edward Gardner conducting and Stuart Skelton and Heidi Melton as the lovers (not pictured below: that's the Schnorrs).


On ten Monday afternoons from 18 April, we'll be going through the opera scene by scene,  looking at the musical language as it relates to the unfolding drama, with plentiful comparisons between performers on both sound and DVD recordings. Two great Isoldes have so far committed to coming along - Susan Bullock and Linda Esther Gray - with more visitors in the pipeline.


18 April - 11 July 2016 2.30pm-4.30pm (no classes on Mondays 2, 16, 30 May)

Venue: Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, W2 1 JQ. Underground: Paddington, Edgware Road, Lancaster Gate

Fee: £180 for full term


Email: david.nice@usa.net to book a place on this highly popular course

STOP PRESS: everyone is welcome to attend the two class visits. Dates:
27 June  Linda Esther Gray
11 July  Susan Bullock and Dame Anne Evans
Rate per class: £18. Contact me on the above email address

A blog survey of Tristan impressions at the half way mark here.

10 February 2016

Longborough Festival Opera announces 2016 season


Over the past decade and a half Longborough Festival Opera has gradually built an international reputation for its productions, led by its performances of Wagner.

Longborough is now announcing its 2016 Summer Season featuring four operatic masterpieces with a line-up of artists which includes some familiar to Longborough but also many fresh faces.

Wagner’s Tannhäuser

Music Director Anthony Negus - a conductor with over fifty years’ experience of Wagner’s stage works - received rave reviews from critics for his conducting of Tristan und Isolde in 2015. This year, along with director Alan Privett, Negus turns his attention to a new production of Tannhäuser with John Treleaven and Neal Cooper in the title role (see cast dates below). Never one to shy away from the seemingly impossible, Longborough’s production of Tannhäuser will see the largest cast ever to have sung on our stage.

FULL CAST
Tannhäuser          John Treleaven (9, 14, 18 June), Neal Cooper (11, 16 June)
Elisabeth               Erika Mädi Jones
Venus                     Alison Kettlewell
Wolfram                Hrolfur Saemundsson
Landgraf                Donald Thomson
Walther                 Julian Hubbard
Biterolf                  Stuart Pendred
der Schreiber       Brian Smith Walters
Reinmar                Charles Johnston


DATES
Thursday 9 June Tannhäuser 3.00pm
Saturday 11 June Tannhäuser 3.00pm
Tuesday 14 June Tannhäuser 3.00pm
Thursday 16 June Tannhäuser 3.00pm
Saturday 18 June Tannhäuser 3.00pm

All performances start at 3pm with two intervals, the long interval at approximately 6.10pm. The performance is due to end at 9pm.

07 November 2015

November 2015 issue of The Wagner Journal is out

The November 2015 issue (vol.9, no.3) of The Wagner Journal is out, which contains the following articles:

  • 'Wagner's Spatial Style' by Christopher Wintle
  • ' "This Round of Songs": Cyclic Coherence in the Wesendonck Lieder' by Malcolm Miller
  • 'From Wagner to Boulez: a Modernist Trajectory' by Arnold Whittall
  • A report on the reopened Wahnfried and new archives in Bayreuth by Barry Millington

Plus reviews of:

  • the Ring and new Tristan at Bayreuth, the Ring in Vienna, Parsifal in Karlsruhe,  Birmingham and Wuppertal, Tristan at Longborough, Die Meistersinger in Mainz, Lohengrin in Pforzheim and Tannhäuser in Tallinn
  • the new Overture Opera Guide to Die Meistersinger, ed. Gary Kahn, Mark Berry's After Wagner: Histories of Modernist Music Drama from 'Parsifal' to Nono, and Matthew Bribitzer-Stull's Understanding the Leitmotif: From Wagner to Hollywood Film Music

The issue is in part a tribute to Wagner Journal editorial board member Prof. Arnold Whittall who celebrates his 80th birthday in November 2015.


















12 July 2015

The Wagner Calendar on Wagneropera.net is History

I know this will be a sad message for many Wagner fans, but it is just too much work to keep updating the Wagner Calendar, so I have decided to discontinue it.

Thanks to all of you contributing by sending me info about productions!

Per-Erik
Wagneropera.net

06 July 2015

The Wagner Journal - July 2015

We are pleased to announce the July 2015 issue (vol.9, no.2) of The Wagner Journal, which contains the following articles:
 
• 'Gender, Sexuality and Love in Wagner: An Electronic Roundtable' featuring Barry Emslie, Sanna Pederson and Eva Rieger
• 'Rienzi in Swedish (1865): The Case of the Stockholm Score' by Owe Ander
• 'Nazi Cinema and Wagner', by Hans Rudolf Vaget
• 'Broomhilda Unchained: Tarantino's Wagner' by Adrian Daub and Elisabeth Bronfen

Plus reviews of:
The Mastersingers at ENO
Parsifal in Berlin
CD recordings of Der fliegende Holländer conducted by Andris Nelsons, Llyr Williams's Wagner Without Words, Seattle Opera's Ring and the 1961 Solti Die Walküre starring Hans Hotter and Jon Vickers

Books: Rounding Wagner's Mountain: Richard Strauss and Modern German Opera by Bryan Gilliam and early studies of Wagner by Ferdinand Praeger, Francis Hueffer, William James Henderson and Ernest Newman, reprinted in the Cambridge Library Collection

Individual copies of, and annual subscriptions to, The Wagner Journal are available in both printed and electronic form. Individual articles and reviews are also available in electronic form. Full details on www.thewagnerjournal.co.uk.

10 June 2015

150th anniversary of the première of Tristan und Isolde

This 10 June, 2015, we are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the première of Tristan und Isolde (Munich, 10 June 1865).  According to the French-born American historian and philosopher, Jacques Barzun, the year 1859 was a pivotal year. In 1941, Professor Barzun wrote a seminal work, Darwin, Marx, Wagner: Critique of a Heritage. The recently deceased Columbia University professor said that in 1859, three major revolutionary works were finalized: The Origin of the Species, by Charles Darwin, the Critique of Political Economy, by Karl Marx, and Tristan und Isolde, by Richard Wagner. Since then, biology, social sciences and music have acquired new meanings and dimensions and we are still living with the results of such major revolutions.

For many Wagnerians, Tristan represents the supreme peak of the master’s musical inspiration (equaled, perhaps, but never surpassed by his later works); its music and words are a sublime praise of love, a love that is so powerful that it has the capacity to transform everything, including death itself. Because of its stifling, erotic and intoxicating character, this opera has been the Mount Everest of singers and conductors, being simultaneously monumental and uncomfortably intimate. Wagner himself told us that it is about “dying without death, and therefore everlasting falling back upon itself”; longing (“Sehnen”, the key concept in Tristan) keeps Tristan alive, while he is dying for Isolde. “If well performed, it will render the listener insane”, admonished Wagner. 

Germán Bravo-Casas

02 March 2015

March 2015 issue of The Wagner Journal

The March 2015 issue (vol.9, no.1) of The Wagner Journal, which contains the following articles:
 
• 'Where's the Drama?': Personal Reflections on the Intersection of Music and Theatre in Wagner Performance by David Breckbill
• Knappe oder Ritter? A study of Gurnemanz by Peter Quantrill
• Wagner and Science: Twilight of the Gods Across the Multiverse by Mark B. Chadwick
• The Rosebush Pictures of Wagner's Daughter Isolde by Dagny R. Beidler

plus reviews of:
  • Tristan und Isolde at Covent Garden
  • Lohengrin in Zurich and Amsterdam
  • Das Rheingold in British Columbia
  • Parsifal in Tokyo
Also:
  • CD recordings of a complete Wagner cycle conducted by Marek Janowski and the 1961 Bayreuth Tannhäuser conducted by Wolfgang Sawallisch, starring Wolfgang Windgassen, Victoria de los Angeles, Grace Bumbry and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
  • Hilan Warshaw's film Wagner's Jews on DVD
  • new books on Wagner and film by David Huckvale and Kevin C. Karnes, Wagner's Visions by Katherine R. Syer, The Cambridge Wagner Encyclopedia, ed. Nicholas Vazsonyi, a new translation of Wagner's essay Beethoven by Roger Allen, and Chris Walton's Lies and Epiphanies: Composers and Their Inspiration from Wagner to Berg, reviewed by David Matthews

Individual copies of, and annual subscriptions to, The Wagner Journal are available in both printed and electronic form. Individual articles and reviews are also available in electronic form. Full details on www.thewagnerjournal.co.uk