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Wagner Performs Wagner: The Flying Dutchman

Written By The Wagnerian on Thursday 18 July 2013 | 5:41:00 pm

It must be said that recent events in London and Bayreuth had left us feeling somewhat "exhausted" with events around Wagner - and those purporting to either like or support his work - but then we received the following from a Wagner scholar that shows a true enthusiasm, energy and "flair" for Wagner we have just recently found sadly lacking elsewhere.

Frequent  readers will note that Dr Jamie McGregor, of Rhodes University, has kindly allowed us to print some of his very fine papers on Wagner over the years (if you have not read any them, two fine examples can be found here and here)

As most readers will be aware Wagner, was a consummate actor and performer. One of the things that Wagner loved to do, in part one suspects because it took so long to get many of his works performed, was to give private, complete readings of his dramas - acting out each of the roles.

On the 22 May this year, Jamie set out to re-create one of these readings, in full costume but with the addition of multimedia.  This live performance was recorded and has now been made available. You can watch the entire thing below.

We shall let Jamie introduce it below but will finish by saying that it is highly highly recommended and very entertaining indeed.

"The first of a projected series of "Wagner impersonations", dramatically recreating the composer's public readings of his opera libretti. Recorded at Rhodes University on Wagner's 200th birthday, 22 May 2013.

The performance was originally complemented by recordings of the corresponding scenes from the opera, together with slides showing illustrations of the work and clips from various stagings of it. I have opted not to include these, as potentially infringing other people's copyright, but anyone with a recording of the opera could recreate the experience at will by alternately viewing the readings and listening to the corresponding scenes."