Thursday 30 March 2017

A Wagnerian With No Wagner? Not Music To An Aussie. 10 Down, 8 Across.

Colin Dexter: 29 September 1930 – 21 March 2017)
As readers are surely aware, Colin Dexter, creator of probably one of this generation's most famous Wagnerians - Inspector Endeavour Morse - sadly died last week. For those unfamiliar, Morse is a somewhat idiosyncratic, curmudgeonly, romantic, crossword addicted, fictional Oxford,
police inspector. He first appeared in Colin Dexter's  1977 novel Last Bus to Woodstock - the first in a series of 13 - plus one short story. Since then, he has appeared in one stage play (An original story, recently adapted as a radio play by the BBC and to be found, in full, below) a number of radio play adaptations and two TV shows (plus another spin-off show "Lewis in which he does not appear).

As we have noted, Morse was a Wagnerian - as too was his creator. The original novels are filled with references to Wagner - many relatively obscure to those without an interest.
“Colin Dexter, the series’ writer had Morse down as a Wagner freak, but to tell you the truth, I can’t stand Wagner. So over the years I gradually phased his music out.”
This last week, with some spare time on our hands, and following the sad death of his creator, we have found ourselves revisiting the world of Morse; both the original novels and the various TV shows: Morse, the prequel series Endeavour and the spin-off series Lewis.

Sunday 12 March 2017

Celebrate 10 years of the Wagner Journal

The Wagner Journal is 10 years old this year - no small task when so many magazines and journals are struggling to survive in the second decade of the 21 century. Happy Birthday! To celebrate, they have not only just published a new edition but revamped the website. Click here to visit and read below what you can expect in this quarter's edition. As always, recommended. 

• 'Wagner: Race, Nationalism and Other Distractions' by Derek Hughes
• 'Teleology, Providence and the ‘Death of God’: a New Perspective on the Ring Cycle’s Debt to G.W.F. Hegel' by Richard H. Bell
• 'All in it Together: the Gesamtkunstwerk Revisited' by Barry Millington
• 'David Breckbill 1957–2016' by Barry Millington

plus reviews of:
Mariusz Treliński's Tristan und Isolde at the Met, Das Rheingold and Die Walküre in a multi-director Ring in Karlsruhe, Tatjana Gürbaca's Der fliegende Holländer and Lohengrin in Essen, Pierre Audi's Parsifal in Amsterdam and Neil Armfield's Ring in Melbourne.
DVD of Dimitri Tcherniakov's Parsifal from Berlin
CDs of Die Walküre over a span of 80 years
Eva Rieger's Frida Leider: Sängerin im Zwiespalt ihrer Zeit and Ulrich Drüner's Richard Wagner: Die Inszenierung eines Lebens

Watch Now: Opéra Monte-Carlo's French Language Tannhauser.

But first listen to those involved in, Opéra Monte-Carlo's new production of Tannhauser,  discuss the production, the work itself and why they are staging the Charles-Louis-Etienne Nuitter translated 1861 "Paris version"

Was Bugs And Fudd Your First Time?

Many of the people involved in the Washington National Opera's production of the Ring say it was theirs. Well, at lest that their first exposure to Wagner's "operas" came from the same source: Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd cartoons. Or so they say in interviews in this short video from the Wall Street Journal.