Monthly Archives: December 2011

Non-Wagnerian Gift

A few years ago, on my professional blog, I directed readers to a simply beautiful performance of Franz Biebl’s Ave Maria, sung by the all-male vocal group Chanticleer.  It has nothing to do with Wagner except for sheer beauty.  If you have five minutes to spare on pure bliss, click here.  And season’s greetings.

Bayreuth Festspiele to Wagner Society: “Leine Ziehen!”

New Yorkers of a certain age remember a front page headline of the New York Daily News when the federal government refused to “bail out” New York City, which was on the brink of default: “FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD!”  Well, that’s sort of what has happened with the Bayreuth Festival and the loyal Wagner […]

Oxymoron of the Month: Cogent Rienzi Production

Before her appointment to co-direct the Bayreuth Festival, Katharina Wagner was quoted as speculating that her great-grandfather’s juvenalia, Rienzi, might claim a place in the repertory of the house.  Soon after her appointment, her production of Rienzi in Bremen was greeted with skepticism and dismissal.  Yet a recent production of the work directed in Berlin […]

Siegfried at the Met

Siegfried is often termed the scherzo of the Ring – the light and playful internal movement of a great symphony.  Each time I have the privilege to see it, though, I leave quite shattered – hardly the response to a scherzo.  The performance at the Metropolitan Opera on October 27, 2011, had this effect and […]