Trailer And Introduction To WNO's Wagner Dream

Written By The Wagnerian on Thursday, 25 April 2013 | 2:34:00 am


June 6 will see the UK premiere of the  first fully staged production of the late Johnathon Harvey's Wagner Dream. Below can be found a trailer, images and a video introduction from WNO's David Pountney - which includes further set designs of WNO's new production of Lohengrin



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Conductor Nicholas Collon
Director Pierre Audi
Assistant/Revival Director Miranda Lakerveld
Designer Jean Kalman
Lighting Designer Jean Kalman
Costume Designer Robby Duiveman
Cast includes
Vairochana Richard Wiegold
Pakiti Claire Booth
Ananda Robin Tritschler
Buddha David Stout
Mother Rebecca de Pont Davies
Old Brahmin Richard Angas


Story:

The morning of Wagner's death (in Venice), after an unusually angry altercation with his wife about the impending visit of the singer Carrie Pringle, he continues an essay he had started. Just at the point at which he begins to consider the implications of his 28-year-old project to write an opera on a Buddhist subject, he suffers a heart attack.

Buddhism teaches that the state of mind at the moment of death is crucial to one's future incarnation ‘the most important mind of one’s whole life’. It also teaches that one experiences a sequence of encounters in which choices are offered. Vairochana, a buddha, is Wagner's 'guide' who clarifies the choices and Wagner eventually decides that his failure to compose the noble Die Sieger must be remedied. He therefore 'creates' the opera - and it happens. From time to time Wagner intervenes and reacts to this show, which only he can see. Cosima, the housemaid, the doctor and Carrie Pringle the singer who, controversially, visits that morning, can none of them really understand what Wagner is talking about.

Prakriti is a serving girl in a poor inn. Ananda, a young monk, disciple and cousin of the Buddha, enters and asks for a cup of water. Prakriti tells him that this is no place for him. However, Ananda replies that he does not care what sort of place it is, he merely needs some water. Prakriti gives it to him and falls in love.

Prakriti's mother encourages her daughter's desires and invites Ananda – ‘Prince Siddharta's cousin’ – to a meal. During his visit Prakriti and Ananda fall increasingly under love’s spell and at the last moment the Buddha appears, unseen by Ananda, and gives Ananda a Tantric vision of Prakriti, in which she appears as the awesomely beautiful and terrifying goddess Vajrayogini. Ananda prostrates before this awe- inspiring projection of his mind and leaves. Prakriti returns to her ordinary appearance.

Under a tree outside a town Buddha is with his disciples and followers. Prakriti approaches and asks him directly if she can be with Ananda, or she will die. Buddha is sympathetic, but begins to explain the conditions of the Path. Taunted also by the rigid old brahmin she wildly tries to seize Ananda’s hand and take him away.

Buddha in reply tells the assembled company the causes for Prakriti's behaviour. In a former life she had been a haughty court priest's daughter who had met a humble young man by a well and he had fallen in love with her; she quickly forgot him. Until, that is, he turned up at the palace with his father and begged for her hand in marriage. She scorned his overture and the young man lived alone without a wife for the rest of his life, unable to forget her, unable to bury her memory. That young man was a former incarnation of Ananda. These extraordinary words spark a crisis in which Prakriti threatens to take her life and to burn the earth to ashes as well. Ananda urges Buddha to admit a woman for the first time to the Order: to the orthodox brahmin’s disgust, the Buddha agrees, if Prakriti truly wishes it. Prakriti decides to join the Order as a sister and is welcomed by Ananda and Buddha. The crowd celebrates the miraculous moment.

Wagner weakens and doubts that the work was really his choice. Finally he is reconciled with Cosima and asks her forgiveness. Under Vairochana’s guidance, Wagner peacefully passes away.