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Ben Heppner Retires From The Stage

Written By The Wagnerian on Wednesday 21 May 2014 | 5:33:00 pm

Sad news. Having interviewed  one of the great Siegfried's, we can assure you that he maybe one of the most pleasant and "down to earth" people in the opera "business" (Read it here if you have not). We also had the opportunity to hear him only two years ago in WNO's Tristan und Isolde where he was  in more than fine form - where he also brought forth an aspect of Tristan's character we had hardly considered.

5:33:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

Zambello's Ring Cycle Finally Reaches Washington - To Include Nina Stemme

After many troubled years - and its eventual premier in San Francisco a few years ago -  Francesca Zambello's "American Ring" will finally premiere in in Washington in 2016. Of especial interest to us, among some fine performers so far confirmed,  is also the announcement of Nina Stemme as Brunhilde in some of the cycles and one of our present preferred Siegfrieds in the form of Daniel Brenna, (who you can also catch in the theatre and on BBC Radio 3 this year in Opera North's Götterdämmerung)

More details below. You might also want to check out The Wagner Blogs article for more on the history of this cycle by clicking here.

5:11:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

Wagner Without Music? London, August, Free

There has been a lot of "Wagner without words" but this is a novel twist. Sounds interesting also.

Free Theatre - London's Free Open Air Theatre

Date: 6 - 31 August
Time: 18:00 - 22:15
Location: The Scoop at More London
Admission: Free

The Ring Cycles Plays - A Tale of Gods and Monsters!

Every Wednesday - Sunday
18:00 - 18:45 - The Rhine Gold
19:00 - 19:45 - The Valkyrie
19:45 - 20:30 - Break
20:30 - 21:15 - Siegfried
21:30 - 22:15 - Twilight of the Gods

Richard Wagner's celebrated adaptation of Viking myths, presented on this occasion without the operatic scores, remains one of the most powerful and influential tales of sword and sorcery ever written, directly inspiring The Lord of the Rings and many other fantasy and sci-fi classics.

4:33:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

German Opera Discovery Day Bham. Inc Michael Tanner

Written By The Wagnerian on Tuesday 20 May 2014 | 7:51:00 pm

Well, there's our Saturday taken care of. Full day event from 10.30  till 15.30. And should you get a chance there is a concert performance of Der Rosenkavalier afterwards. More here: Der Rosenkavalier

7:51:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

Wagner Helps WNO Win RPS Music Award for Opera and Music Theatre

Written By The Wagnerian on Wednesday 14 May 2014 | 6:28:00 pm

Welsh National Opera have won the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society [RPS] Opera and Music Theatre Award for their productions of Lulu, Lohengrin and Paul Bunyan in 2013. The criteria for RPS Opera and Music Theatre Award is for musical and artistic excellence of a production, company (large or small-scale) or individual.

The RPS Music Awards, presented in association with BBC Radio 3, are the highest recognition for live classical music and musical excellence in the United Kingdom. Winners in 13 categories, chosen by independent juries, were announced at a glittering ceremony at London’s Dorchester Hotel (evening – 13 May) hosted by BBC Radio 3’s Petroc Trelawny and Sara Mohr-Pietsch, with silver lyre RPS trophies presented by pianist Graham Johnson.

6:28:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

Sir George Christie, 1934 - 2014

Written By The Wagnerian on Tuesday 13 May 2014 | 1:21:00 am

Sadly Missed

The only son of Glyndebourne founders John Christie and Audrey Mildmay, Sir George Christie succeeded his father to become Chairman of Glyndebourne in 1958 when he was just 23. He held the position until 1999, during which time he and his wife Mary transformed his family business into the world-renowned opera house it is today.

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Wagner In Your Livingroom? And Then Some...

Vienna State Opera has announced a more than interesting season, filled with Wagner, (including a complete Ring) Strauss and more. However, should you not be able to make it to the theatre you can still catch it at home on your TV - courtesy of Vienna State Opera's 'Live at Home'. Said Dominique Meyer, director of Vienna State Opera, “Our primary aim is to make Vienna State Opera programs available live at home so that opera and ballet fans in remote locations that don't have cinemas but do have Internet connections can attend our performances via live stream in the best audio and video quality. People all over the world should be able to turn their living room into an opera box."

 Selected Highlights below.

Sept. 12, 2014

Oct. 23, 2014

Nov. 2, 2014

Dec. 18, 2014

Jan. 18, 2015

Jan. 23, 2015

April 5, 2015

April 11, 2015

April 12, 2015

May 30, 2015

May 31, 2015

June 4, 2015

June 7, 2015

Details of all performances being broadcast and how you can catch them can be found here
12:49:00 am | 0 comments | Read More

Wagner The Narcissist?


by David P. Goldman

The curtain rises in silence to reveal a stage composed of parallel white planks. With the first bars of the prelude”an insistent, agitated gesture in the lower strings”the planks dissolve into a single image of storm clouds. The floor of the set rotates vertically into a backdrop, from which a snowstorm emerges in three dimensions. The planks are now the towering trees of the nocturnal German forest.

A fugitive threads his away among them, his faltering steps mimicking Wagner’s ambiguous downbeat, pursued by armed men with lanterns. With another rotation, the trees have become the slanting roof beams of a rude house. The fugitive enters, and sings, “Whosoever hearth this be, here must I rest”; the orchestra falls silent as his unaccompanied voice completes a long-awaited cadence in D minor.

So begins the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of Wagner’s Die Walküre, of which the opening alone is worth the price of admission. Those first moments of Robert LePage’s production, sadly, are as good as it got. That is not LePage’s fault, though, but Wagner’s. Wagner produces a few transformative moments, bracketed by long periods of musical stasis. This alternation of ecstasy and ennui is not a question of incapacity”the young Wagner could turn out good style imitations of Mendelssohn”but a matter of compositional choice.
12:24:00 am | 0 comments | Read More

A New Production Of Pelléas and Mélisande From WNO - 2015

Written By The Wagnerian on Monday 12 May 2014 | 11:19:00 pm

If you sometimes feel - and you live outside of Germany - starved for Wagner productions the matter must surely be worse if, like us, you consider Pelléas and Mélisande one of the 20th centenary's greatest operas. We are pleased to tell you you, should you be such a person, that while ENO are staging Wagner in London Welsh National Opera will be performing a new production of Debussy's masterpiece. More below

This is a tragic opera unlike any other, Debussy eschews vocal fireworks to create a strange, dreamlike atmosphere which is hard to escape from. It is fitting that the team who created a definitive account of Lulu in 2013 should return to stage this beautiful and troubling 20th century masterpiece. Prepare to lose yourself in Debussy’s sensual and mysterious world.
11:19:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

Why Giacinto Palmieri Likes To Laugh At Wagner

Giacinto Palmieri
And not just Wagner's "comedy". We have been very lucky to get an early sneak at this performance and we enjoyed it greatly. Catch it if you can.

John Fleming talks to Giacinto Palmieri

London-based Italian comedian Giacinto Palmieri’s last full-length comedy showPagliaccio was based on Ruggero Leoncavallo’s operatic character.

His new Edinburgh Fringe show this year is about German composer Richard Wagner and, more specifically, Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung.

Giacinto jokes that he has explained its plot to all his ex girlfriends (with the emphasis on ‘ex’) and now he wants to do the same with his audience.

11:04:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

ENO Bring Wagner Back To The Coliseum

At least there will be some Wagner in one of London's Big Houses next season. We have some very fond memories of Wagner at the Coliseum over the years - forgetting the last Dutchman that is - and Richard Jones' production is surely a safer bet. Add to this that Edward Garner displayed a better understanding of Wagner then we have heard from other London based conductors in recent years and a good cast and its difficult to see how this one would not be worth adding to your diary. Details below.

From the opening bars of the ever-popular overture, Wagner’s The Mastersingers of Nuremberg is conceived on a truly epic scale, full of glorious melodies, stirring choruses and thrilling orchestration.

ENO’s major new production of Wagner’s comedy sees Richard Jones’s acclaimed staging re-imagined for the scale of the London Coliseum. Jones provides a characteristically witty and clear retelling of Wagner’s drama about the 16th-century guild of amateur poets and musicians (the Mastersingers), in which the tension between creativity and conformity is played out in a society obsessed with rules and regulations.
10:36:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More