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Met announce 2013/14. No live Wagner but 25 cd box-set

Written By The Wagnerian on Wednesday 27 February 2013 | 3:03:00 am

The MET has announced its 2013/2014 season and, we are pleased to say, the return of Levine. Alas however not one bit of Wagner is to be found. But then, this should hardly come as any surprise given that the details were leaked a week ago by

However, tucked away in the announcement is confirmation that the MET will be releasing a 25 cd set entitled: Wagner at the Met. Details below.

The Met will commemorate the bicentennial Wagner with an exclusive box set of historic Met performances, released by Sony Classical. Each set will feature legendary performances from the Met’s archives, most never before officially released and all newly restored and mastered from the original sources. Wagner at the Met, a 25-CD set, will be released March 11 2013 and feature Götterdämmerung starring Lauritz Melchior and Marjorie Lawrence (1936); Melchior and Kirsten Flagstad in Die Walküre (1940), Siegfried (1937), andTristan und Isolde (1938); Lohengrin with Melchior and Astrid Varnay (1943); Der Fliegende Holländer with Hans Hotter and Varnay (1950); Das Rheingold with Hotter (1951); Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg with Paul Schöffler and Victoria de los Angeles (1953); andTannhäuser with Ramón Vinay, Margaret Harshaw, Varnay, George London, and Jerome Hines (1954). Conductors featured in the set include Artur Bodanzky, Erich Leinsdorf, Fritz Reiner, Fritz Stiedry, and George Szell.

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Django Unchained: Nietzsche's Siegfried Not Wagner's?

Written By The Wagnerian on Tuesday 26 February 2013 | 1:52:00 pm

"Who can attain to anything great if he does not feel in himself the force and will to inflict great pain? The ability to suffer is a small matter: in that line, weak women and even slaves often attain masterliness. But not to perish from internal distress and doubt when one inflicts great suffering and hears the cry of it — that is great, that belongs to greatness." Nietzsche: The Gay Science

"Moreover, Africans faced punishments designed not to only correct but also to degrade and humiliate. William Byrd, Virginia planter and a sophisticated colonial gentleman, noted, without embarrassment, in his diary how he forced a slave bed-wetter to drink a “pint of piss”The Routledge History Of Slavery

It is nearly impossible to discuss Django Unchained without discussing Richard Wagner's Ring cycle of dramas and Siegfried in particular. How could it not be when both Tarantino and Christoph Waltz have discussed the influence of Wagner's work on Tarantino's newest movie - especially so in the German media. Add to this  that Django is searching for his wife Broomhilde (Brunnhilde) and the clear links between certain characters and those found in Wagner's dramas. However, like everything that Tarintino "steals" from, he manipulates them for his own purposes - while often doing little more than nodding at the original. And I don't just mean the written narrative here but all of the narrative structures at a film makers disposable: sound, music, dialogue, mise-en-scene, titles,  costumes, framing,  etc. Indeed, one feels sometimes that perhaps this alteration of the original source allows him to add a further narrative message - even if one needs to be familiar with the source to see how he does this and perhaps what he he might be trying to say. This would be no different in the manner that he adapts Wagner's work then he does that of  the other two main pieces of source material  Sergio Corbucci's original Django and Pietro Francisci's Hercules Unchained. However, I think that Tarantino's distortion of Wagner's Siegfried (Django) is so important in this movie that it needs far more attention than has been provided by those perhaps less familiar with the source. But don't worry, we will keep things simple. Don't I always?

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Wolfgang Sawallisch, (1923-2013) Dies at 89

Obituary from the Guardian below.

Once described as "a sphinx in a tailcoat", the German conductor Wolfgang Sawallisch, who has died aged 89, conducted supremely idiomatic performances of Richard Strauss. His personality always melded seamlessly with the music he conducted. Though he enjoyed great veneration, the suave and personable Sawallisch did not cultivate it. "He never made a star of himself," said the soprano Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. "He wants to make music … untrammelled." She added: "It's a wonderful sensation. It's as if you're in private."

Sawallisch's restrained physicality, contradicted by the occasional, discreet leap at the end of The Firebird, later gave way to a particularly intense passion. In middle age he had a certain emotional aloofness, yet his readings of Shostakovich and Brahms symphonies in his 70s were described as "suffocating" in their extremity. His Beethoven Pastoral symphony left hardened recording engineers in tears. While his early 1970s recordings of the Schumann symphonies with the Dresden Staatskapelle had long been considered classics, Sawallisch eclipsed even his own standard with the Philadelphia Orchestra's 2003 live recording of the Symphony No 2 – despite such ill health that some feared he would collapse mid-performance.

The spur of this Indian summer was a personal sadness. Sawallisch's change in temperament – which showed itself only in certain repertoire – dated from the death of his wife of 46 years, Mechthild, in 1998. In the months following, the maestro was known to break down during rehearsals of Austro-Germanic repertoire, but he refused to discuss his inner life, aside from saying: "I've never felt such a close relationship with music."

Born in Munich, Sawallisch studied at the city's Wittelsbacher-Gymnasium and the Hochschule für Musik. His training as a pianist was interrupted by the second world war, during which he was a radio operator in the German army stationed in Italy. He was captured and spent time in both American and British PoW camps. After the war, he started as an opera house répétiteur in Augsburg, Bavaria, then graduated to conducting there. He furthered his operatic activities as general music director in Aachen (1953-58), Wiesbaden (1958-60) and Cologne (1960-63).

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The Wagnerian Review of the Gergiev Walkure:

Written By The Wagnerian on Saturday 23 February 2013 | 4:17:00 am

Wagner: Die Walküre

Nina Stemme (Brünnhilde), René Pape (Wotan), Jonas Kaufmann (Siegmund), Anja Kampe (Sieglinde), Mikhail Petrenko (Hunding), Zhanna Dombrovskaya (Gerhilde), Irina Vasilieva (Ortlinde), Natalia Evstafieva (Waltraute), Lyudmila Kanunnikova (Schwertleite), Tatiana Kravtsova (Helmwige), Ekaterina Sergeeva (Siegrune), Anna Kiknadze (Grimgerde), Elena Vitman (Rossweisse)

Mariinsky Orchestra, Valery Gergiev
SACD - 4 discs

The Gergiev Walkure: "Parsifal is Parsifal, Walkure is Walkure."

From the moment it was announced, I have waited enthusiastically upon this release. While I would be the first to admit that Gergiev's Ring cycle, as heard at the ROH, was far from perfect, I have been a dedicated admirer of his Parsifal - also released on the Mariinsky label a few years ago. While that may never replace a number of other recordings that I hold and listen to repeatedly, it was certainly a Parsifal that I had happily added to them -  for a number of reasons. One of these being that in Parsifal, Gergiev brings forth something new both from the score and text.

With this in mind, and a cast that included many of the leading performers of Wagner today - Kaufmann, Pape, Stemme, etc - it seemed that this Walkure would be one of the digital recordings of both this and even the last century.  However, I am sad to report that it is not the recording either for which I hoped or indeed it could have been.
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Review: Fulham Opera Siegfried

Reviewed by Paul Kilbey at Bachtrack

You have to sit in a small Fulham church, on a pretty uncomfortable chair, for at least four hours. And listen to a load of opera singers warbling about dwarves and gold and stuff. From certain perspectives, Fulham Opera’s production of Wagner’s Siegfried doesn’t sound like much fun at all. But somehow – and I’m still not entirely sure why – it’s a completely brilliant evening’s entertainment, which absolutely does Wagner proud.

It’s helped, of course, by some monumental vocal performances – Philip Modinos is a really blisteringly full-on Siegfried, Ian Wilson-Pope a calm, intense Wanderer – but there’s more to it than just that. There is a seriousness of intent to this production which absolutely transcends its humble surroundings, and despite plenty of minor qualms with the production, I found myself simply blown away by the whole project.

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You can also read our interview with Fulham's Artistic Director here
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Shakespeare and The Flying Dutchman

Another excellent article from Dave Paxton in his ongoing investigation that the works of Shakespeare had upon Wagner and his drama. He turns his attention this tome on the Dutchman.

Highly recommended as are Dave's other articles in this series.

Shakespeare and The Flying Dutchman
Dave Paxton

Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure is a strongly political play, a work embedded in the complexities of social reality, but its hero/villain Angelo, whose admiration for Isabella’s ascetic purity morphs into sexual desire and a rape-attempt, is in part intensely spiritual. This is not, however, a spirituality that is allowed to unfold fully. István Géher brings this out superbly when he describes how Angelo commands Isabella ‘to participate with him in a forbidden and denied bliss, in other words to embody for him the eroticism of damnation’. He adds:

Now, if there were a single spark of romanticism in the play, the demonic Angelo, this fallen angel, would burn with a black flame and his searing appeal would be the irrevocable command of sweet red-letter Hell. But in Vienna there are no angels, fallen or otherwise. There is only positioned lust tyrannizing gray defenselessness by right of office, and that is just distasteful. In its effect it is not a revelation but a trauma. (‘Morality and Madness: A Hungarian Reading of Measure for Measure’, 140)

If Shakespeare’s Angelo is balanced precariously between society and spirituality, then Wagner’s version of him — Friedrich in Das Liebesverbot — is (at least, this is the idea) absolutely de-spiritualized. Wagner’s ideology in this, his second opera, is so dogmatically materialistic that even Isabella is robbed of her religion and turned into a spokeswoman for sexual liberation (‘Has love’s magic never flowed through your veins,’ she asks Friedrich, ‘With its pain and pleasure?’).

As I showed in my last blog, Friedrich momentarily gets out of Wagner’s control in Act II of the opera, and Angelo’s intense negative spirituality breaks into the work at the moment when Friedrich fantasizes dying a love-death with Isabella, consecrating her ‘to both God and hell.’

And once this motif had been struck in Wagner’s consciousness, and in his operatic oeuvre, it refused to go away. If the sex-positive Das Liebesverbot could not tolerate the idea of a character enjoying the ‘eroticism of damnation,’ then that would simply have to be returned to in another opera, where it could be worked out properly on its own terms.

In the early 1840s, when he composed Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman), Wagner took the disavowed spirituality of Measure for Measure and put it centre-stage: the Dutchman is a rebirth of Friedrich and Angelo both. Dressed in black, he stands aboard his ship of ‘blood-red sails and black mast’; he is cursed by Satan, and he threatens eternal damnation on those who come near him; his only yearning is for an angel who will redeem him; he himself is ‘a fallen angel,’ as Wagner wrote in his “Remarks on performing Der fliegende Holländer”. His musical sound-world is exactly that of Friedrich in the earlier opera; the two characters’ monologues, in Acts II and I respectively, open almost identically, with the hushed baritone voice set against sinister but lugubrious lines on the low strings.

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Wagner: Fact and Fiction

In honor of the Wagner bicentennial in 2013, German publishers are going all out when it comes to the Romantic-era composer. DW's Anastassia Boutsko takes a stab at an overview of this year's issues and reissues.

One might say it's overkill: An online book retailer lists several thousand titles about Richard Wagner, each available for delivery. And a mid-sized German bookstore currently has 773 German-language Wagner books and about 200 in English in its selection. Around half of the titles were first published or reissued in 2012/2013.

With so much selection, any review of the literature is damned to subjectivity, and this author is fully willing to admit that from the outset.

Wagnerian fact and fiction

Many authors are hoping to cash in on readers' desire for informative literature that finally separates truth from fiction when it comes to the composer's restless life. On offer is everything from a 120-page book in German entitled "Richard Wagner" by Egon Voss to a 400-page overview of the major themes in Wagner's life - also in German and simply called "Wagner" - by Martin Geck, a German musicologist.

Geck, who has already written biographies on Mozart, Bach and Beethoven, says he believes it's impossible to see through Wagner. It's also wrong to demystify the magic of the composer with banal facts, he believes. Instead, Geck would prefer readers to reflect on their own interests, asking the question: "Which positive and negative values am I absorbing from Wagner's musical dramas?"

As it addresses these issues, Geck's book conveys well-structured and comprehensive information about Wagner. The author told DW that he vouches for the facts he includes in the book "with the seriousness befitting a Wagner researcher."

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Jonas Kaufmann On Wagner: 'It's Like A Drug Sometimes'

Audio interview with Jonas Kaufmann talking about Wagner over at NPR. Click the link at the bottom to hear the entire interview
On Wagner's Musical Evolution

"Wagner changed very much, like every great composer. They were born, maybe, being geniuses, but they had to discover all their abilities and their special style. What you do as a young artist is to try to imitate others — you try to do the same as others around you were successful with. Once you feel more mature and self-confident, then you try to create your own style. That's what every musician actually tries to do. Later on, you just try to sound like you."

On the dynamism of Parsifal

"You have the first act and the third act, which are very — I don't want to call them traditional, not at all — but the harmonies are, most of the time, very settled and very regular. You know in which direction he will go; [it's] a little bit predictable. But in the second act, suddenly, it's as if if somebody has opened Pandora's box, or the door to hell! It's never stable, it never stays in one key, in one harmony. It goes back and forth all the time, wildly."

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Video Excerpts: MET Parsifal with Kaufmann/Pape plus photo gallery

Written By The Wagnerian on Saturday 16 February 2013 | 8:05:00 pm

Some tickets still available. And failing that it can be seen at a cinema somewhere world wide in March. See here for full international cinema screenings

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Wagner featured prominently at new International Opera Awards

Written By The Wagnerian on Thursday 14 February 2013 | 9:41:00 pm

"Please, please, let us win something"
The new International Opera Awards, to be held in London, April 22 2013, feature a number of artist, institutions and events closely related to Wagner. These include: the Bayreuth Festival Chorus, Christian Thielemann, Lohengrin, Bayreuth Festival, Nina Stemme, Sarah Connolly, Bryn Terfel, Jonas Kaufmann and Stefan Herheim as just a few examples.Details of all categories and nominations to be found below.

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Wagnerian soprano Christine Brewer understands devotion of composer's fans

By Rich Copley —

Christine Brewer knows the stereotypes of Richard Wagner's music: huge drama, huge voices, swelling orchestras and long, long operas.

But Brewer learned well before she started singing the 19th-century composer's music that it doesn't have to be that way, and really shouldn't be.

The soprano herself defies expectations. A celebrated star of some of North America and Europe's most prestigious opera stages, she comes from humble Midwestern roots in Illinois and began her career as a music teacher — not a professor, but a K-12 music teacher.

She also was bold and, in 1989, talked her way into a master class with vaunted Wagnerian soprano Birgit Nilsson.

"I thought you could just call anyone," Brewer says, laughing.

Hailing from neither a prestigious opera program nor a heralded company, Brewer was told Nilsson would not hear her. But she did, and Nilsson invited Brewer to study with her in Germany. That started a friendship and valuable tutelage in the music of Wagner, including something not often associated with the German master: subtlety.

"She would painstakingly go through the scores and say, 'Look, the orchestra isn't even playing here, so you don't have to sing full tilt,' and she was right," Brewer says. "People are tempted to go sing full out all the time when singing Wagner, but they shouldn't. Number one, it's not healthy for the voice. Number two, it's boring."

Wagner's music is not for the young, either.

That's a big reason Lexington opera lovers don't hear his music much. With the student-based University of Kentucky Opera Theatre as the city's primary opera presenter, the student singers for the most part are not ready to sing Wagner.

"You shouldn't hear Wagner from students," Brewer says. "You need to wait until you're older and grow into it."

Lexington will hear Wagner on Friday in a program featuring Brünnhilde's Immolation Scene from Götterdammerung, the finale of his iconic Ring Cycle. In the scene, Brünnhilde and her horse leap atop her love Siegfried's flaming funeral pyre to bring the story to a dramatic close.

In her performance with the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, we won't see all that staging, which is another daunting task for any company that wants to present Wagner. Instead, we will hear the dramatic music from the soprano and the orchestra.

"My God," Brewer says, "can you imagine playing Wagner with an orchestra?"

She recalls singing a performance of Wagner at the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

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Read more here: hCttp://

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Weekend with Richard Wagner and Brno Philharmonic Orchestra in Munich

The Brno Philharmonic Orchestra will perform three concerts at the beginning of May in two largest concert halls in Munich, the city of music. Together with the Münchner Opern- und Sängerfreunde agency, the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra intends to play these concerts to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Richard Wagner and the 130th anniversary of his death. The concerts will include mainly lesser known compositions of this genius and reformer of the opera. Under the baton of its chief conductor and artistic director Aleksandar Markovic, the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra will perform, in each of the concerts, the most demanding symphonic and opera repertoire.

The main attraction of the weekend will be the concert performance of the Wagner’s early opera Rienzi, the Last of the Tribunes. In this opera, well-known opera singers Endrik Wottrich (Rienzi), Michelle Breedt (Adriano), Katerina Sokolova-Rauer (Irene) will be performing, accompanied by the Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno. The concert will take place on Saturday 4th of May 2013 at 6 p.m. in Gasteig, the domicile of Munich Philharmonic Orchestra.

In the following two concerts, in addition to Wagner, great symphonic compositions of Anton Bruckner and Richard Strauss will be performed. In the first concert (3rd of May 2013 in Herkulessaal), a world renowned mezzo-soprano Vesselina Kasarova will sing Songs to Texts by Mathilde Wesendonck (Wesendonck-Lieder), then Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7 will be performed. Bruckner, who became a lifelong Wagner devotee, composed this symphony just after the Wagner’s death to honor the composer’s life and work.

The Sunday symphonic matinee concert (5th May 2013 at 11 a.m.) will present Richard Strauss´ symphonic poem A Hero’s Life as well as orchestral works by Richard Wagner. With this grand celebration of the powerful personality of Richard Wagner, the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra and its principal conductor Aleksandar Markovic will close this Wagner concert trilogy in a city of music that accepted Wagner, the expatriate, and enabled him to produce vast amount of glorious music.

3. 5. 2013 Herkulessal, Richard Wagner: Huldigungsmarsch, Wesendonck Lieder, Bruckner: Symphonie N°7
4. 5. 2013 Gasteig, Wagner: Rienzi
5. 5. 2013 Gasteig, matiné; Wagner: Götterdämmerung: Siegfrieds Rheinfahrt , Siegfried Idyll; Strauss: Ein Heldenleben
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Jay Hunter Morris pulls out of LA Operas Dutchman

According to his agent, "a severe case of gastroenteritis," has meant that Jay Hunter Morris is unable to attend rehearsals for LA Opera's new Der fliegende Holländer - due to premiere March 30. This has meant that he needs to pull from the production entirely.

Corey Bix, who made his LA Opera debut in 2010 in Die Gezeichneten, will take over the role of Erik - a role he has performed a number of times before.

However, Jay Hunter Morris will still be performing in the MET's Ring in April.

Tenor Corey Bix made his LA Opera debut in 2010 in Die Gezeichneten (The Stigmatized). This season, he sings further performances Erik in The Flying Dutchman with Hungarian National Opera, in addition to Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos with Forth Worth Opera and Aegisth in Elektra with Des Moines Metro Opera. He also joins the Teatro alla Scala for its production of Lohengin. His recent engagements include Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos (Washington National Opera, Vienna Volksoper, Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe), the Prince in Rusalka and the title role of Stravinsky’sOedipus Rex (Greek National Opera), the Emperor in Die Frau ohne Schatten (Oper Graz); Walther in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg(Theater Kiel), Erik in The Flying Dutchman (Savonlinna Opera Festival), Florestan in Fidelio and Lennie in Floyd’s Of Mice and Men(Utah Opera), as well as the title role of Flotow’s Alessandro Stradella(Stadttheater Giesen). Mr. Bix’s concert performances include Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass (Cathedral Choral Society at the National Cathedral), Pheobus de Chateuoers in Schmidt’s Notre Dame and Pharaoh in Dessau’s Hagadah shel Pessach (American Symphony Orchestra) and Mozart’s Requiem (Palm Beach Symphony).
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Wagner 200 - London - Full details Inc New Parsifal

As previously noted, 2013 will see a full range of Wagner related events in London. These form part of Wagner 200 and will include, as previously noted, a new production of Parsifal from the ROH. Full details of the main events are listed below. However, readers are recommended to visit the events website which provides full details, including: tickets, dates, etc. Also, a number of Wagner essays and "features" are to be found there

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Leipzig Celebrates its Famous Son Richard Wagner in 2013

Written By The Wagnerian on Wednesday 13 February 2013 | 8:45:00 pm

LEIPZIG, Germany, February 13, 2013 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Leipzig is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Richard Wagner, who was born here on 22 May 1813. Whoever wants to understand the young Wagner must come to Leipzig, especially in 2013: 137 events have been scheduled in Wagner's honour, 70 of which during the City of Leipzig Richard Wagner Festival (16-26 May 2013).

In a unique cooperation between Leipzig Opera and the Bayreuth Festival Wagner's early works Die Feen, Rienzi and Das Liebesverbot will have their premiere, accompanied by the Gewandhaus Orchestra. Events like the Ring for Children at the Musical Comedy Theatre, the performance of the Gotterdammerung at the Paulinum of Leipzig University (22 May 2013), the opening of the Wave Gothic Festival with Parsifal or the cross-genre project "Wagner Reloaded - Apocalyptica meets Wagner" (5/6 July 2013) also cater for the younger generation.

Beside musical highlights many interesting exhibitions are on offer, e.g. "Richard Wagner - his passions and burdens" at the Museum of City History (13/03-26/05/2013), "Wagner's Mythology" at the Klinger Villa (21/04-08/07/2013) and "World Creators: Wagner - Klinger - May" at the Museum of Fine Arts (16/05-15/09/2013). On 21 May a permanent exhibition about the young Richard Wagner will be opened at the Old St. Nicholas School. One day later, a new Wagner memorial by artist Stephan Balkenhol will be inaugurated.

In Leipzig, Wagner attended St. Nicholas School, St. Thomas School and Leipzig University.

A survey of Wagner's life in Leipzig, the complete events programme and travel deals are available on .

Further information:
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Wagner: Welcomes Opinions?

Despite a less than overwhelming number of voters (honestly, if your one of the many, many , many people that visit, didn't vote and don't like the changes, don't blame us - honesty) for a trial period we have opened up "commenting" on  the latest posts and a select number of older ones.

We''ll see how it goes. And no, not one "Captcha" insight. Not even we are that cruel.
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Warner's buy EMI Classics and Virgin Classics

Written By The Wagnerian on Monday 11 February 2013 | 3:34:00 pm

Universal Music Group, the world’s largest record company, is to sell the Parlophone Label Group - which includes EMI Classics and Virgin Classics - for £487 million to Warner Music Group. It seems the move is a result of the approval by the European Commission last year, which allowed Universal to purchase the EMI Group in its entirety A condition of that sale was that Universal needed to release a certain amount of its recording label assets

Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group said in a statement:
‘Following this transaction, we will continue with our global reinvestment program that is rebuilding EMI and ensuring that the company is able to reach its full potential,. We’re satisfied that our agreement with Warner Music will provide a home for PLG artists.’
The Parlophone Label Group is comprised of the Parlophone and Chrysalis labels, as well as EMI recorded music operations in Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Slovakia and Sweden. PLG’s artists include Air, Coldplay, Daft Punk, Danger Mouse, David Guetta and Iron Maiden, among many others.

Following its successful purchase of the company last year, UMG acquired such iconic EMI labels and domestic operations as Virgin, Capitol, Blue Note, Christian Music Group, Capitol Nashville, Canada, Australia, Italy, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Japan and Latin America and South Africa, among others. Artists include such chart-topping superstars as The Beatles, Katy Perry, Emeli Sandé, Robbie Williams, Swedish House Mafia, The Beach Boys, Lady Antebellum, Herbert Grönemeyer, Norah Jones, Tiziano Ferro, Hikaru Utada, Vasco Rossi, Helene Fischer, Smashing Pumpkins, 30 Seconds to Mars, Yumi Matsutoya, Keith Urban, Frank Sinatra, Empire of The Sun and Corinne Bailey Rae, among many others.

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A Wagnerian Interview. Ben Woodward, & why its good to be compared to Bayreuth

Ben Woodward
We noted Fulham Opera's continuing Ring cycle as one of the highlights of Wagner in London last year. A production without the funding of any other company and with a spirit that is truly "Wagnerian". Nearly two years on from when we first spoke to him, Fulham Opera's Artistic Director, Ben Woodward, managed to take time out of a schedule that would make the Wagner's at Bayreuth blush, to discuss the cycle so far, this months Siegfried,  the future for Wagner at Fulham  and it would seem, being "referenced" by Bayreuth. Ben was also able to provide us a series of rehearsal photos "fresh off the press".

TW: Ben, its been I think. now 2 years since we first spoke and  two years into your Ring project. With that in mind, can you tell me how things have developed and if things have gone the way that you thought they would?

BW: It's been an incredible journey from Rheingold back in August 2011, which was then reprised for the London Wagner Society in June 2012, and we did our full Walküre in May 2012, over Wagner's 199th birthday - we had a cake!

Musically speaking, I've been so impressed with the continued commitment of cast and crew in putting this most unusual cycle together. All of them recognise we have started something very special here, and it is worth their time and not inconsiderable effort.

Due to Fiona Williams having availability issues, this instalment is being directed by Max Pappenheim - who will later also revive Fiona's Rheingold when we do a complete Ring Cycle.  Max has been absolutely tremendous, bringing enormous amounts of enthusiasm and a real love of Wagner's music to this, the "scherzo of the Ring".   Fiona will be back to direct Götterdämmerung in November.

Alberich (Robert Presley) and Mime (Peter Kent)
Has it gone the way I expected it would?  It's been just as much hard work as I expected, yes!  Siegfried is another level up in difficulty from a musical perspective than Walküre, especially once we get to the post-Tristan/Meistersinger music of Act 3.

TW: Indeed it is! Talking about Siegfried. it is often considered one of the most difficult of Wagner's works to cast - especially the role of Siegfried. As you know, most, if not all, major companies struggle with this particular role; often with different artists taking over as others drop out for various reasons. Could you tell us a little bit about your Siegfried : who is he, how you found him?

After putting out many feelers, a recommendation led us to ask Philip Modinos to come and audition for us.  We were in the middle of our Gianni Schicchi final technical preparations at the time, and in the midst of various bits of technical chaos going on around the space, he sang us the most beautiful Tanhäuser monologue, and we knew we'd found a simply world-class Siegfried in the making.  Philip is Greek, though he grew up in Switzerland and went to Trinity College of Music here in London.  He recognised the importance of this project, and also that this was a role he needed to learn, and will inevitably sing all across the world.

Philip looks like you'd want a Siegfried to look, he has an astounding instrument that could sing the role twice if he really needed to, and is also (how unlikely is this for a potential Siegfried...) a trained swordsman.  He's been a real find, and I am convinced the Wagner-loving world will know about him for this role within the next decade.

We will expect an interesting confrontation with "The Wanderer" than! And you have many people returning, Zoe South. Ian Wilson-Pope and Robert Presley. I assume keeping the same key performers in place helps with the cycles development?

We're certainly trying to keep the same members of cast as much as we possibly can, yes.  Zoe and Ian are the key players across the cycle, as is Robert Presley, our Alberich.  Philip is on board to do our Götterdämmerung, which is clearly excellent news.  We have really chosen to do this repertoire because we have the singers who can sing it and want to sing it.  It's a fantastic place to be and a marvellous niche to have.

TW: I think it would be true to say that there seems, from what we know of it,  similarities between the over-ridding themes of your cycle  and Bayreuth's new Ring. Could you remind us a little about this so far and how these concepts will be integrated into Siegfried?

Siegfried (Philip Modinos)
When Fiona first took on Rheingold, she placed us in Texas, where Wotan was (loosely speaking) a JR Ewing archetype oil magnate.  Fricka was a bit like Sue-Ellen, and Donner and Froh were cowboys.  In Walküre, Wotan had moved his oil wealth to Hollywood, where he was trying to control the actions of his movie-in-the-making, "Siegmund".  By Siegfried, our director Max Pappenheim has moved us to somewhere remote, perhaps in an Amish-style community outside Chicago, where Mime brings up Siegfried away from the modern world, though it is clearly not very far away, as we find when Siegfried battles Fafner in Act 2.

I understand that Bayreuth are doing something similar.  As with our cushion hire, I welcome the comparison!

TW: Staging a Ring cycle is of course a financial strain on the biggest company. With this in mind how are you funding it and again,  have things in this regard gone as you might have expected

BW: I am extremely grateful to all our artists for realising the value of what we are doing here, and as such, we manage to work the company on a co-operative business model.  The artists and crew each get 10 tickets to sell, which forms the core part of their fee, and then, after production expenses are taken into account, everyone gets an equal share of what monies remain.  We've managed to secure a reasonable amount of sponsorship from the London Wagner Society, as well as from a couple of private donors, to whom I am extremely grateful, as their donations mean that the eventual shares for all cast and crew become closer to a reasonable fee.  Whatever we do, there is simply no chance that anyone is going to make anything close to a professional fee for a 5 week rehearsal period and three performances, but we do what we can do!  With that in mind, I've set up a wefund "crowd-funding" page (link here) which will take any donation over £1.  Everything helps, and everything goes towards the performers themselves.

TW: Götterdämmerung is next this year I believe. What can you tell us about this?

BW: We have decided to put Götterdämmerung in the calendar for November, and split it up over two nights each, doing two complete performances.  We will do the Prologue and Act I on 13th November and then complete the opera on 16th, and then do the same on the 20th and 23rd, which we think is the best way we can perform it in our space.  As per our website, the casting is almost complete; I'm hoping to confirm with a simply magnificent Hagen shortly after Siegfried, and the London Gay Mens Chorus approached us about being our Vassals, which is very exciting.  I've already started typing up the surtitles!  Other than that, we're still in relatively early planning.

Wanderer:  (Ian Wilson-Pope)

TW: And finally, I have heard rumors that Fulham Opera will be involved in Wagner 200. Can you tell us anything about this?

I think I can confirm that we're being involved in the W200 celebrations on 22nd May, yes!  What we are doing is slightly adjunct to the main celebrations that evening in the RFH, but we're definitely going to be there in the afternoon.  I think I should keep any further details quiet and not spoil the surprise at this point, but yes, book out the entire day for the South Bank.

TW: Ben, again thank you for taking time out of a very busy schedule indeed. 

If you would like more information about Fulham Opera's Ring cycle or would like to book tickets for this months Siegfried please visit: Fulham Opera
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MET/Lepage Ring Cycle Wins Grammy Award - Best Opera Recording

The award has been given for the DVD release. It would appear the Grammy's still make no distinction between these and opera audio only recordings. But then it wasn't until 1961 that the award was changed from Best Classical Performance, Operatic or Choral.

Award: Best Opera Recording
Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen
James Levine & Fabio Luisi, conductors; Hans-Peter König, Jay Hunter Morris, Bryn Terfel & Deborah Voigt; Jay David Saks, producer (The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; The Metropolitan Opera Chorus)
Label: Deutsche Grammophon

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Listen to: Walkure - Kaufmann, Stemme, Kampe, Petrenko and Pape. (Spotify)

And so the Gergiev "all star" Ring cycle begins  The new digital Ring to replace all others? Well, now you can decide.

Anja Kampe Sieglinde
Jonas Kaufmann Siegmund
René Pape Wotan
Nina Stemme Brünnhilde
Mikhail Petrenko Hunding
Ekaterina Gubanova Fricka

Valery Gergiev conductor
Mariinsky Orchestra

In what may be the first Ring ever recorded in Russia, music director Valery Gergiev gathers the hottest cast on earth … Gergiev is magisterial in Wagner, a rampaging pagan among the gods. Ex-Decca producer James Mallinson rules the sound decks and the result in this, the first of four releases, is as gripping as any Wagner recording of recent times, a box to sit unblushing beside Solti’s everlasting benchmark.’ Sinfini Music (Norman Lebrecht)

***** ‘The orchestral playing is excellent, especially lower woodwinds in solo passages, while the brass is superb. The recording, from the fine acoustic of the Mariinsky Concert Hall, is sumptuous.’ Opera Britannia (UK)

‘In the first act at least, with Jonas Kaufmann as an incomparable Siegmund, Anja Kampe a profoundly moving Sieglinde and Gergiev pacing the performance to an overwhelming climax, the result is spellbinding. In fact, few performances on disc can match it for sheer excitement, or for Kaufmann's blend of easy power, immaculate diction and lyric beauty … Gergiev obtains transcendently beautiful playing from the Mariinsky Orchestra.’ The Guardian (UK)

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Listen to: Kaufmann Wagner. Runnicles (Spotify)

Kaufmann as Siegfried is certainly intriguing.

Jonas Kaufmann
Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin,
Donald Runnicles

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"For Wagner, there were good Germans and bad Germans, good Jews and bad Jews.” Irad Atir

When we mange to track down a full copy of Dr Irad Atir's paper we will reprint it if possible.

The legendary German composer wasn't quite the anti-Semite people think, says Irad Atir, whose PhD paper was praised by Yad Vashem.

By Haggai Hitron

Richard Wagner wasn't an anti-Semite who hated every Jew because he was Jewish, says Irad Atir, who recently completed his doctorate on the controversial German composer. At worst, Wagner was a special kind of anti-Semite.

“His opposition to Jewishness was part of his opposition to the sociopolitical and cultural reality of the period in general, including the non-Jewish German reality," Atir says. "He criticized certain aspects of Germanism; for example, the conservatism, religiosity, pride in aristocratic origins, and militarism. He also criticized Jewish separatism and lust for money. For him, there were good Germans and bad Germans, good Jews and bad Jews.”

According to Atir, the only way to understand Wagner’s art, which expresses political, sociological and musicological ideology, is to approach it neutrally. The usual link between Wagner, racism, anti-Semitism and Hitlerism should be ignored.

What's the main new element in your theory?

“All the research done so far – and it's plenty – has viewed dealing with Judaism in Wagner's operas as something marginal. But research paid more attention to this after the war, after 1945, because the Jewish issue was very sensitive. I argue that [Wagner’s] dealing with Judaism as the other – complementary – side of his dealing with Germanism is prominent in all his important operas. A possible explanation for this is that Wagner, a non-Jewish composer, knew and worked with more Jews than any other significant composer. He also suspected he was half Jewish. The detailed research I’ve done on this obsessive preoccupation shows that Wagner's attitude toward Jews and Judaism was complex and changing. It certainly wasn't just hatred.”

As a musician, you base your theory on Wagner’s complex attitude toward Germanism and Judaism on Wagner’s operas as musical dramas. Can this theory be arrived at by scrutinizing Wagner’s writings and libretti without the music?

“This can be concluded, and I show that the musical research underscores and clarifies this thesis. Even Wagner's much-maligned essay 'Das Judenthum in der Musik’ ends by calling for a unification of German and Jewish culture, not destruction or conversion. To my mind, Wagner’s call succeeded that by Beethoven for universal brotherhood in his Ninth Symphony, setting to music the words of [German poet Friedrich] Schiller that ‘all men will be brothers.’”

According to your research, Wagner even expresses a positive attitude toward Judaism in his operas.

"He points out and alludes to Jewish characters; for example, through text that contains sibilant consonants in the case of Alberich and his brother Mime in 'The Ring.' The most important example of a positive attitude, or at least a complex one, is taken from 'The Ring.' The character who must be understood as Jewish – I explain why it must be so through musical analysis as well – is the character Loge, the god of fire. He is cunning but also acts in a positive way, helping good people; a Jew who has undergone change. The music associates him with the German world and the Jewish world. Sometimes it's gratingly chromatic compared to the accepted mid-19th century taste, and sometimes it's different, expressing purity.

"It's important to stress that if Wagner had wanted to express a one-dimensional attitude of hatred of Jews, he would obviously have created a single Jewish character as a caricature. The fact that he attached Jewishness to a number of different characters in his operas shows that his approach to Jews was not one-dimensional.

“Another example: the Rhinemaidens mock Alberich, an ugly ‘Jewish’ character, although he committed no crime against them. The 'dark' world within Alberich turns to evil only after the ‘good’ world has hurt him without cause. That means the ‘good’ world also contains elements of evil.

"Wagner sometimes expresses in music his criticism of the German reality by linking tonal, banal music – sometimes with a sense of violence and power, a kind of whipping of the emptiness – to unjustified arrogance. By the way, Wagner twice refused to sign an anti-Semitic petition demanding restrictions on Jewish rights, which was presented to Chancellor Bismarck. And from 1942 the Nazis themselves banned the performance of some of his operas.”

Wagner’s attitude toward Felix Mendelssohn figures centrally in your work.

“True. I show that despite Wagner’s criticism of Mendelssohn in his essay ‘Das Judenthum in der Musik,’ he wrote that Mendelssohn’s works expressed great talent, but they couldn't touch the depths of the soul because of his Judaism, because Jews don't have the ability to create real art.

"But Wagner was an admirer of Mendelssohn. In his youth he wrote with enthusiasm about Mendelssohn’s oratorio ‘St. Paul,’ and Wagner in his operas quoted famous Mendelssohnian motifs and used Mendelssohnian themes that the audiences of his day knew. And he used them not necessarily to identify Jewish characters.”

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Bryn Terfel splits from his wife of 25 years

We hate gossip, even when its confirmed,  but better it comes from here perhaps. We hope the tabloids leave at what is below but would suspect otherwise.
It seems Terfel  separated from his wife of 25 years,  Lesley  before Christmas and the couple are  now living apart.
Terfel declined to comment but his manager,Doreen O’Neill , noted that he was "definitely not" in an other  relationship.
She went onto say, ""Bryn told me before Christmas that they had separated. I do not know the reason for their separation. "He didn't tell me and I didn’t ask the question, to be quite honest."
"Bryn is a very private man," she continued.  "I’ve known him and represented him for 26 years and I think he is an outstanding person. "All around his profession you will hear the same thing."

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Have something to say? Wagner always did

As regular readers will be aware, we have always kept away from allowing commenting on articles over the years (Years? Already?). However, over that time we have been asked on a number of occasions as to why this is and if we are honest we haven't got an answer. 

So, a little poll. Free to take part. Just click on one of the answer at the top right hand side of the page -  and we may even act on the results.

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ROH masterclass: Gwyneth Jones: 28 May 2013

Acclaimed as one of the greatest Wagner sopranos of the second half of the 20th century, Gwyneth Jones appeared at nearly every Bayreuth Festival between 1966 and 1982 and took a wide range of roles in all the leading opera houses of the world. She draws on a wealth of experience and a rich fund of anecdote, as can be seen in both her masterclass and in the discussion with Humphrey Burton that follows.

Venue: Royal Opera House
Time: 7.30pm

More: Wagner 200

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New Wagner Book: The Cambridge Wagner Encyclopedia

Written By The Wagnerian on Wednesday 6 February 2013 | 4:35:00 pm

Nicholas Vazsonyi
Should you have a spare £120 then the following maybe of interest:

The Cambridge Wagner Encyclopedia
Edited by: Nicholas Vazsonyi, University of South Carolina
8 tables 48 music examples
Dimensions: 228 x 152 mm

Available from August 2013
c. £120.00

From the Publisher:
Richard Wagner is one of the most controversial figures in Western cultural history. He revolutionized not only opera but the very concept of art, and his works and ideas have had an immeasurable impact on both the cultural and political landscapes of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. From 'absolute music' to 'Zurich' and from 'Theodor Adorno' to 'Hermann Zumpe', the vividly-written entries of The Cambridge Wagner Encyclopedia have been written by recognized authorities and cover a comprehensive range of topics. More than eighty scholars from around the world, representing disciplines from history and philosophy to film studies and medicine, provide fascinating insights into Wagner's life, career and influence. Multiple appendices include listings of Wagner's works, historic productions, recordings and addresses where he lived, to round out a volume that will be an essential and reliable resource for enthusiasts and academics alike.

Features Include:

• The most up-to-date and comprehensive reference source on Wagner available, with over five hundred    entries
• Contributions from over ninety international leading authorities in their fields
• Twelve appendices provide extensive supplementary information

Contributors include:

Roger Allen, Celia Applegate, Nicholas Attfield, Matthew BaileyShea, Evan Baker, David E. Barclay, John W. Barker, Mark Berry, Peter Bloom, Dieter Borchmeyer, David Breckbill, Werner Breig, Matt Bribitzer-Stull, Stephen Brockmann, Jeremy Coleman, David Cormack, Adrian Daub, John Deathridge, James Deaville, David B. Dennis, Johanna Dombois, Márton Dornbach, Stephen C. Downes, Ulrich Drüner, Glenn Ehrstine, Barbara Eichner, Barry Emslie, Jason Geary, William Gibbons, Sander L. Gilman, Hermann Grampp, Thomas S. Grey, Kaaren Grimstad, Erling E. Guldbrandsen, Joseph Horowitz, David Huckvale, Marion Kant, Kevin Karnes, Ulrike Kienzle, William Kinderman, Helmut Kirchmeyer, Lutz Koepnick, Juliet Koss, Gundula Kreuzer, Alexis Luko, Roberta Montemorra Marvin, Lydia Mayne, Stephen McClatchie, Patrick McCreless, William Melton, Margaret Eleanor Menninger, Stephen Meyer, Margaret Miner, Ryan Minor, Yvonne Nilges, James Parsons, Sanna Pederson, Pamela M. Potter, Eva Rieger, Michael Saffle, Hannu Salmi, Daniel Sheridan, Eric Schneeman, Na'ama Sheffi, Matthew Wilson Smith, Sebastian Stauss, Anthony J. Steinhoff, Emma Sutton, Katherine Syer, Christian Thorau, Corinna Treitel, David Trippett, Ulrich Troehler, Laura Tunbridge, Hans Rudolf Vaget, Steven G. Vande Moortele, Nicholas Vazsonyi, Ray M. Wakefield, Chris Walton, Hilan Warshaw, Holly Watkins, Derek Watson, William Weber, Arnold Whittall, Simon Williams, Charles Youmans, Julian Young
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Video preview Of COC's New Tristan und Isolde

Critics have been calling it the "return" of Ben Heppner to form. We can assure you, this began in Birmingham last year.

We believe standing room only tickets are still available. Click the link at the bottom to check.

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Jonas Kaufmann to make his Carnegie Hall debut

Announcing a season heavy in Russian music and marking Britten's Centenary, Carnegie Hall had little of interest to Wagnerites apart from the announcement that Jonas Kaufmann is to make his recital debut there in February 2014. Better than nothing we suppose. All of the limited details are reproduced below.

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. 
Jonas Kaufmann, Tenor 
Carnegie Hall Recital Deb
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Wotan goes to the movies & finds Wagner everywhere

Written By The Wagnerian on Sunday 3 February 2013 | 8:37:00 am

From: Wotan At The Movies

Cowboys and Aliens: Or how I learned to stop worrying and look for the Wagner references

3 out of 5 Stars

The bankers destroyed the world . Inhumane, soulless demons. Working deep within the earth - out of sight, out of mind. They raped the land and stole the gold -  while hypnotising you. "Everything is fine" they made you believe. "Nothing to see here". But not everyone. No sirree. Because there were some, like you, who, while not fully understanding the "demonic" nature of the "great manipulators" benefited from participation with them. Or at least you did until their unthinking, unemotional lust for gold turned on you too. Yeah there was clearly something-up. Don't pretend you didn't know something was wrong because you did. Oh, most of us might have been totally hoodwinked but you? Well you know it all along didn't you? Deep down? You may have ignored it, pushed it to the back of your mind, but there was something up - wasn't there? But not to worry because there is still time for you to redeem yourself. Time to awake. You can turn your gaze on the Nibelungen, see through their manipulations, wake the sleeping masses,  redeem the world and return the gold to the Rhinemaidens  You may need the help of the god like powers of Siegfried and Brunnhilde to do so but you will - and without you even they are nothing

And thus we have the plot (or at least subplot) of Cowboys and Aliens, an entertaining if confused, episodic, and ultimately disappointing movie that while owing much to Richard Wagner's Ring of the Nibelungen opera cycle (or at least a Marxist reading of said work - either consciously or unconsciously)  and the recent economic "meltdown", is ultimately only saved by much of its cast - especially Harrison Ford.

It starts well enough, with Daniel Craig (the movies Siegfried) arriving from nowhere and thankfully looking less like a steroid addicted Sid James then he has in the new Bond movies. I had fears of Carry On Cowboy - see video below - but had no need to worry as he puts in an enjoyable, if  somewhat shallow, performance. He's a man with no name, no memory, the fastest gun in the west, and of unknown motives - with the addition of a rather strange bracelet that helps provide him the means to help detect, and ultimately defeat, the aliens. So far so, if we ignore the bracelet, Sergio Leone. But this is a movie of mixed sub genres and influences and when he arrives at a local "one horse" town we are, if alas far to briefly, entering the "wild West" of Fred Zinnemann's High Noon or Howard Hawks's Rio Bravo (the director cites John Ford and Sergio Leone as influences). And of course in keeping with such movies this is "old" "Hollywood's rather clean, rather sanitised version of the West -  that most "new westerns" have reacted against. But despite this, it remains the movies best "chapter" and it is a pity the (many, many - far to many) screenwriters decided to branch out from here. We are quickly introduced to the rest of the cast, including the central figures of Harrison Ford as the wealthy cattleman of dubious ethics (he needs Wagnerian redemption - but will he manage it?), and the mysterious traveler of Olivia Wilde (the movies Brunnhilde); a generally fine supporting cast and possibly some of the most boring, shallow, CGI aliens to appear in a big budget movie in a long time.

Quickly the Aliens appear, kidnap a series of local residents (for reasons that make no sense with what develops as we discover their  ultimate motive) and a "quest" movie begins. Daniel Graig's character seeks to find out who he is and his obvious relationship to the aliens, Harrison Ford's odious rancher seeks to win back his equally odious abducted son and Olivia Wilds "mysterious" character has motives of her own - but these might prove to great, if rapidly obvious, a spoiler to reveal.

And of course along the way, both Daniel Greg's Man with No Name,  and Harrison Ford's "Evil Rancher" will gain redemption - whether they want it or not.

The movie throws Wagner references at us by the dozen - or at least I think it does. Daniel Graig is Siegfried, his bracelet clearly  a cross between Siegfried's sword Nothung and the Ring (indeed there are hints at the end he may not be entirely human - if you look); Olivia Wilde is Brunnhilde - she even "awakens" returning to our world emerging from a ring of fire and her fate to redeem the world is ultimately  Brunhnhilde's; the Aliens are the Nibelungen   living deep underground, fearful of the light and with an unsatisfiable need for gold.

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Janice Baird rides out while Alwyn Mellor rides in: Paris Opera, Walkure/Siegfried

Written By The Wagnerian on Saturday 2 February 2013 | 2:02:00 pm

Alwyn Mellor, originally engaged to sing three performances of each work, will now sing all the performances as Brünnhilde in the Paris Opera's current revivals of Günter Krämer's productions of Die Walküre and Siegfried conducted by Philippe Jordan. She replaces an ailing Janice Baird.

Die Walküre will be performed on

17, 20, 24* and 28 February
3*, 6 and 10* March

The cast also includes Egils Silins / Thomas Johannes Mayer*, Stuart Skelton, Martina Serafin, Sophie Koch and Günther Groissböck.


Siegfried will be performed on

21, 25 and 29 March
3, 7, 11 and 15 April

The cast also includes Torsten Kerl, Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke, Egils Silins, Peter Sidhom, Peter Lobert, Qiu Lin Zhang and Elena Tsallagova.


"Set to become one of the great Wagnerian sopranos of her generation" (Opera Now), Alwyn Mellor has previously enjoyed success as Brünnhilde with Longborough Festival Opera, Bergen National Opera (formerly Den Nye Opera) and Oper Leipzig as well as in concert with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kent Nagano. Other recent Wagnerian successes have included Sieglinde in Die Walküre with Opera North and Isolde in Tristan und Isolde with Grange Park Opera.

This Summer, she sings three complete cycles as Brünnhilde in Stephen Wadsworth's production for Seattle Opera conducted by Asher Fisch, with a cast including Stefan Vinke, Greer Grimsley, Stephanie Blythe, Stuart Skelton and Margaret Jane Wray.


Alwyn Mellor, Tristan und Isolde, Grange Park 2011

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Callas performs the "Liebestod" 1949 & 1957

When diva's were Divas.

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Janowski Wagner Rolls On: Tannhauser - Nina Stemme, Robert Dean Smith

Now available and should you have Spotify and wish to listen before buying then so be it.

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The Ring Cycle for Saxophone Quartet

We enjoyed this far more than we thought we would.: excerpts from The Ring of  Richard Wagner, arranged by Gijs Kramers, The Ring in 22 minutes played by the Amstel Quartet.

For more about the Amstel Quartet visit: The Amstel Quartet. (A free view of the Richard Wagner Action Figure to every visitor).
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