Author Archives: peterp

Splendid Book on the New Wahnfried

While in Bayreuth this past August I paid my first visit in five years to Wahnfried, and was delighted to find that it had not been eviscerated, which the construction site a few years ago seemed to presage.  I miss the chairs, the piped-music and the tranquility of the great room that I first entered […]

Preparing the 1983 Hall/Solti Ring at Bayreuth

Last month, browsing the book stalls located outside the BFI under the Waterloo Bridge on London’s South Bank, I found a volume I had never seen before – The Ring: Anatomy of an Opera, by Stephen Fay and Roger Wood. Fay chronicles the preparation of the 1983 Bayreuth Ring production, directed by Peter Hall, conducted […]

Bayreuth Meistersinger 2017

Barry Kosky’s new production of Die Meistersinger at Bayreuth is a polemic, suggesting that, in creating the role of Sixtus Beckmesser, Wagner intended to warn his audiences to reject the harmful influence of Jews on the integrity of German art.  Kosky asks further whether, in feeding this pernicious strain of German anti-Semitism, Wagner, along with […]

Vienna’s New Parsifal

Classic dramatic structure requires that a play feature a climax—a single moment in the action, necessary to the narrative, when the protagonist achieves self-awareness, accepts fate, and performs the action that the plot requires.  In Hamlet, it is the moment that prompts his declaration “The point envenomed too?  Then, venom, do thy work,” and fatally […]