New DVD Series: Wagner's Ring: A Tale Told in Music

Written By The Wagnerian on Friday, 11 October 2013 | 1:36:00 am

Emeritus Professor Heath Lees, well known to many with an interest in Wagner, has produced the more than interesting DVD set below.  It provides an unique approach to studying the Ring cycle - we believe the first to do so in this format and manner. Details as follows but we really do recommend you check out the video excerpts and than visit the sets website: Wagner’s Ring – A Tale Told in Music.

In Wagner’s Ring – A Tale Told in Music Emeritus Professor Heath Lees vividly reveals the complex workings at the heart of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen - its leitmotifs, relationships and transformations.

Heath follows Wagner’s lead and concentrates first and foremost on the music of Wagner’s Ring, guiding the viewer through each of the four operas and throwing the spotlight on the composer’s techniques and effects. In an informative and engaging manner, he shows how the many themes come to embody a person or an event, or an emotion . . . and how they are subtly changed as the story unfolds.

Wagner’s Ring - A Tale Told in Music is essential viewing for everyone with the slightest interest in The Ring. It opens up new horizons for all: young and old, tentative first-timers and seasoned Ring-goers.

Each of the four episodes of A Tale Told in Music focuses on one of the operas, and Heath explores the music at the piano, explaining simply the techniques used. The films also include interviews with Wagner experts, and performances by professional opera singers.

About Heath Lees

Heath Lees is Emeritus Professor of Music at Auckland University, and divides his year equally between New Zealand and France. Heath has presented many arts programs on television, including the music series Opus, and the weekly arts show Kaleidoscope. For Radio New Zealand’s Concert network, he has chalked up literally hundreds of individual programs. Over nearly a decade he wrote feature articles and music reviews for The New Zealand Herald, and in 1994 founded the Wagner Society of New Zealand.

He has lectured on musical subjects in general and Wagner in particular, in France, Portugal, Australia and New Zealand. As a writer, he has published many articles on different musical influences in literary works by Samuel Beckett and James Joyce. As a composer, he has a number of choral and instrumental pieces published by Roberton (UK) and Allan’s Music (Melbourne). His most recent book, Mallarmé and Wagner: Music and Poetic Language, deals with Wagner’s influence on the French poet Mallarmé (Ashgate UK).