21 December 2008

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all readers of this blog and Wagneropera.net! Thank you very much for contributions, corrections, suggestions and new friendships! I hope to be back next year with more exciting interviews and background information and develop the site further, hoping that it will be unavoidable for all Wagnerians.

This big hit in 2008 was no doubt the Wagnerians Recommend Wagner Project, which increased the number of visitors with 500%.

The keywords visitors used to enter the site was (most frequent first):

  1. wagner opera
  2. katharina wagner
  3. stefan herheim
  4. waltraud meier
  5. johanna meier
  6. wagneropera.net
  7. kwangchul youn
  8. siegfried horn call
  9. irene theorin
  10. christopher ventris

This shows clearly that the old myth saying that visitors enter your site via the front page is dead and buried. So if you make your web site ignoring this fact, you loose a lot of traffic. If your web site is a business site, you will gradually lose to your competitors having understood the importance of search engines.

I would especially like to wish Wagneropera.net's ONLY visitor in Nepal, Nigeria, Tanzania, Greenland and Tunisia a Merry Christmas (if he or she celebrates Christmas there) and a Happy New Year!

13 December 2008

Updated Parsifal

Updated: it is now uncertain if this production will be recorded.

Stefan Herheim's production of Parsifal is scheduled to be recorded for DVD release and live streaming in 2010, according to BF Medien. In my opinion it it a wise decision to wait for the third year of production. Then the production should have found its optimal artistic expression, and one can probably get the best available singers. Flower Maidens: Some changes in the Blumenmädchen ensemble are desperately needed. No need to show mercy here.

The Bayreuth Festival 2009 will feature a live streaming of Christoph Marthaler's Tristan und Isolde, a production that has made me very curious since it generally was disliked by the critics. Unfortunately I couldn't get a ticket last summer, so a live streaming right to my computer is appreciated.

10 December 2008

Five Richard Wagner recommendations

Wagneropera.net asked some singers, directors, conductors, scholars and writers to recommend five Wagner CDs or DVDs. Among the contributors you will find opera singers Detlef Roth and Lioba Braun, conductor Hartmut Haenchen, director Kasper Bech Holten, Wagner scholar Barry Millington and many others.

Read all Wagner recommendations

The contributors regard Patrice Chéreau (both Ring and Tristan) and Harry Kupfer (especially his Holländer) highly. Among the conductors Solti, Boulez, Krauss and Barenboim are most often mentioned.

You will probably not agree with all the recommendations, but – as this project shows – there is not one definite version of a Wagner opera, neither on CD nor DVD. In my opinion these lists can teach us to appreciate the many ways Wagner’s operas are interpreted and performed.

Read all Wagner recommendations here

02 December 2008

Katharina Wagner's Meistersinger released on DVD today

Katharina Wagner's production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg is being released today. This is the first time a live recording from the Festival has been released on DVD. It was recorded on 27 July 2008 and the material is therefor the same as was used on the Livestream on Internet.

It doesn't seem that Amazon.com has the DVDs yet, maybe the American release is later. Americans may buy the DVDs from the Festival's online shop. There it costs 29.90 Euro (approximately $38). You can save two Euros by buying it on Amazon.de.

Katharina Wagner's Meistersinger is a totally new reading of the opera, and not for those who want to go to the opera to escape. In my opinion, this production of Meistersinger is both thought-provoking and necessary. It is therapeutic for Bayreuth, starting a healing process of the Festivals repressed dark past.

Among the singers, Michael Volle's Beckmesser is a great achievement, and probably worth the expenses alone.

Bonus material include a "Making of" and a reportage of the Siemens Festspielnacht.