July 22, 2009 |
After a spirited debate that pitted two prominent Los Angeles politicians against each other over issues of anti-Semitism and the operas of Richard Wagner, the County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to give its support to the 2010 Ring Festival L.A., a citywide arts celebration that will focus on Wagner's epic cycle, "The Ring of the Nibelung." The board rejected a motion by Supervisor Mike Antonovich asking the festival's main backer, the Los Angeles Opera, to shift the event's focus away from Wagner, the renowned 19th century composer who is widely admired for his operas and detested for his virulently anti-Semitic personal views.
July 18, 2009 |
Next spring, the Los Angeles Opera will stage its first complete production of Richard Wagner's monumental four-opera cycle, "Der Ring des Nibelungen." In conjunction with those performances, more than 70 arts, cultural and educational institutions will produce a 10-week "Ring Festival," consisting of concerts, exhibitions, symposiums, lectures and other performances. It will be L.A.'
March 29, 2009 |
Typically, artistic ventures are judged two ways: by the critical community and in the court of public opinion. But in the case of Richard Wagner's four-part "Der Ring des Nibelungen," attention must be paid to a third constituency: enthusiasts of the cycle. These opera-goers -- "Wagnerites" if you want to be kind, " 'Ring' nuts" if you're less charitable -- are not professional evaluators, yet they are likely to have seen more "Ring" productions than all but the most assiduous music critics.
September 2, 2008 |
The board on Monday named half-sisters Katharina Wagner and Eva Wagner-Pasquier to replace their father at the helm of the German festival dedicated to the music of composer Richard Wagner. The women -- the composer's great-granddaughters -- will replace their father, Wolfgang Wagner, who stepped down at the end of August after 57 years as director of the festival. The question of who would succeed the 89-year-old has generated as much drama as a Wagnerian opera. Wolfgang and his brother Wieland took charge of the festival in 1951.
August 26, 2008 |
As Germany's annual Bayreuth Festival moves toward its conclusion this week, the real drama is unfolding behind the scenes over a successor to 89-year-old director Wolfgang Wagner. The furor increased Monday with news that Nike Wagner, the great-granddaughter of the composer Richard Wagner, had teamed with Belgian director Gerard Mortier to apply for the job. Nike's bid rivals an earlier bid by two of her cousins -- the daughters of current director Wolfgang Wagner. Richard Wagner founded the festival in 1872 and his grandsons, Wolfgang and Wieland, took charge of the festival in 1951.
July 26, 2008 |
Veteran opera director Wolfgang Wagner on Friday welcomed guests to his festival in Bayreuth, Germany, walking on the arm of his youngest daughter -- a leading contender to replace him after a 57-year reign and a prolonged struggle over his successor. Wagner, the 88-year-old grandson of composer Richard Wagner, briefly greeted bystanders along with his 30-year-old daughter Katharina outside the Festspielhaus before the opening of the annual celebration. An official decision on who will take over the festival is not expected until after this year's event ends on Aug. 28.
April 30, 2008 |
Wolfgang Wagner, the longtime director of the annual festival of Richard Wagner's operas in Bayreuth, Germany, said in a letter issued Tuesday that he would step down after leading the event for nearly six decades. The letter from the 88-year-old Wagner -- grandson of composer Richard Wagner, who founded the festival in 1872 -- was read to reporters by his lawyer after a meeting of the festival's board of directors. The directors had no immediate comment on the status of a possible replacement for Wagner, although his daughters have handed in a proposal for their joint directorship.
October 18, 2007 |
An opera by Richard Wagner -- whose music and anti-Semitic writings influenced Adolf Hitler -- will be performed by an orchestra made up of Israeli and Arab musicians and conducted by a Jew at an open-air theater built by the Nazis.
July 24, 2007 |
A real-life drama of succession as riveting as any Richard Wagner opera is casting a shadow over this year's Bayreuth Festival, raising the anticipation level among devotees of the German master even before the first curtain rises Wednesday at the musical shrine he inaugurated 131 years ago.
March 2, 2007 |
A previously unpublished letter by Richard Wagner to a firm of Milanese couturiers offers the intriguing possibility that the composer was a cross-dresser. The letter was published for the first time Thursday in the inaugural edition of the Wagner Journal. According to Barry Millington, co-editor of the journal, the letter, dating from January 1874 and now in a private collection in the U.S., at the very least points to an extremely detailed interest in the minutiae of ladies' apparel.