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Dame Gwyneth Jones Discusses "The Wagner Experince"

Written By The Wagnerian on Friday 28 November 2014 | 11:25:00 pm

We have had many guest authors here over the years but surely none can be as special  as that of Dame Gwyneth Jones. In this review, Dame Gwyneth takes time from what remains an incredibly  busy schedule to review Paul Dawson-Bowling's book "The Wagner Experience"  Not only does it provide an unique review of Paul's two volume Wagner book but also an intriguing look at Dame Gwyneth Jones relationship to Wagner, his work  and productions of his work. A must read.

Edit: It has been pointed out the book is now available on Kindle for only £10.99. See below



Dame Gwyneth Jones

Christmas is just around the corner, someone very special is having an occasion to celebrate, or you just feel like spoiling yourself! This set of two wonderful books, beautifully presented, truly makes the ideal gift. But not only that! They are a “must” to have, as a reference to Wagner’s life and his incredible compositions and are ideal for placing in the lounge or bedroom for visiting guests to browse through, or for refreshing one’s memory of the stories, the sources and the lessons of Wagner’s great dramas, before attending the performance.

11:25:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

Latvian Wagner Coin Wins International Award

Just goes to prove there is no award Wagner cannot win.

At the World Coin News’ Coin of the Year Award an international panel of judges bestowed Best Silver Coin honors to Latvia’s 1 lats coin marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of composer Richard Wagner, KM-140.

The coin dedicated to Wagner was issued in June 2013 to mark the 200th anniversary . It commemorates the active Riga period of the composer when he took to writing his first important opera "Rienzi".

The authors of the coin are Aigars Ozolins (graphic design of he front), Ivo Grundulis (graphic design of reverse) and Ligita Franckevica (plaster model). The coin was struck by Koninklijke Nederlandse Munt (Netherlands)

9:59:00 am | 0 comments | Read More

The Wagnerian's Reader Choice Awards - 2014

Written By The Wagnerian on Sunday 16 November 2014 | 9:17:00 pm

Update: Due to a technical error (well, to be honest we thought we had closed the voting but we had not) we are keeping the polls open till the last day in November. The virtual award ceremony will run week beginning the 21 December 2014.  Who is the greatest living conductor of Wagner?  Plus who has our editor selected for special editors awards? Find out soon.

Time flies so  quickly it seems, for it is now 10 months since we first asked you to nominate entries, in  a number of categories, in the first "Wagnerian's Readers Choice Awards (henceforth "The Wagnerians"), Indeed, so enthusiastic was the response that we needed to run a semi-final a few months later to reduce the number of  entries in the male and female performer categories - from over 18 in each down now to more manageable 8.

So why has it taken so long to get the final voting? A number of reasons, that included not only technical ones but the way in  which we could include certain categories. Indeed, so complex did this become, that we have felt the need, at least this year, to leave certain  categories out - such as best CD. We won't bore you at this stage why this is the case apart from saying we are looking at how to address this next year.

But never-mind that for the present, for you finally have the opportunity to make your voice known below. This year there are five categories: Conductor, female and male performer, book and app of the year. All require a vote, apart from phone app of the year. This last omission is due to the simple fact that that not everyone that votes may have a "smart phone".

If the embedded form doesn't work for you below, click here. No login needed and no personal data kept.

A special thank you gift once you have voted
9:17:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg - 10 Day Study Course

Opera in Depth with David Nice: Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at the Frontline Club
12 January – 16 March 2015 14.30-16.30

In the second term of his new Opera in Depth course at the Frontline Club, a year of epics, David Nice devotes 10 two-hour classes to Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg - a masterpiece that will never outstay its welcome. David, who has now explored all the major Wagner operas over 25 years of opera classes, last took students through Meistersinger five years at the time of Richard Jones’s revelatory new production for Welsh National Opera with Bryn Terfel making his role debut as Sachs.
4:51:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

Bayreuth Kick Jonathan Meese Out Of The Festival - Making Sense?

Johnathan Meese clearing out his desk at Bayreuth?
Jonathan Meese has been a controversial figure from the moment he signed a contract with the Wagner sisters to direct 2016's Parsifal. Even we had our reservations, given his unconventional thoughts on Wagner and his lack of experience with directing opera (or given that this is Parsifal, more correctly drama). Other commentators have cited what some have called his obsession with Nazi symbolism or indeed what we described as his pythonesque response during and following his selection as 2016's director.  

However, it is none of these factors that seem to have lead to him being unceremoniously "booted" from Bayreuth.  Instead the festival's commercial director Heinz-Dieter Sense  has said the reason is one of affordability.

As Sense said today, "Substantial financing problems emerged from the very beginning with regard to the planned stage sets and costumes.The available budget would have been substantially overrun. And this is not acceptable."

A surprising statement given the costs of 2013's Ring cycle.

A rather "irritated" Meese has responded to his ousting by saying  "Bayreuth has long ceased to be about  Art. It's now all about self-preservation, power and the struggle against declining relevance.. "

And of the Bayreuth management team? He talks of   "intimidation" and a "culture of domination and obedience". He also says: ".. Artists fail at Bayreuth, because art has no home there"

"Meese has not failed  Wagner" he says, but "Bayreuth has failed Meese" Indeed, it would seem the "2016 Meese Festival at Bayreuth" will not now take place.  Perhaps we might have some Wagner instead?

As of writing, a new director has not been announced,  
1:52:00 am | 0 comments | Read More

Does Listening To Wagner Mess With Your Mind?

Written By The Wagnerian on Saturday 15 November 2014 | 7:53:00 pm

The following, free, event at the Birmingham Hippodrome looks very interesting, We will be there. Details from the organizers below:

Hearing Wagner in the Being Human Festival: Does Wagner mess with our minds?

Saturday 22 November 10:30 - 17:00
Birmingham Hippodrome Patrick Centre Theatre

The emotional impact of music is undeniable, and this is nowhere more obvious than in Romantic music such as the operas of Richard Wagner. But can the effects of music be measured? Is this even desirable? The Hearing Wagner event taking place at the Birmingham Hippodrome on Saturday 22 November aims to air these and other questions and show how psychologists and musicologists are working together to understand better what is going on in these extraordinary works.
7:53:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

Wagner Related Thought Of The Day

Written By The Wagnerian on Saturday 1 November 2014 | 8:24:00 am

One sometimes feels that no one has the measure of Nietzsche like Will Durant:
"Nietzsche was the child of Darwin and the brother of Bismarck. 

It does not matter that he ridiculed the English evolutionists and the German nationalists: he was accustomed to denounce those who had most influenced him; it was his unconscious way of covering up his debts." William James Durant . The Story of Philosophy.
8:24:00 am | 0 comments | Read More