Tag Archives: Scholarship

Critiquing a Critic

The worst thing a writer on the arts can do is to discuss a work he has not seen.  I once lambasted the excellent critic for the New Yorker, Alex Ross, for writing about the staging of the Metropolitan Opera’s Ring Cycle when he had seen each of the works but not the Cycle itself.  […]

Brilliant History of Opera Staging

Evan Baker’s book From the Score to the Stage: An Illustrated History of Continental Opera Production and Staging (Univ. Chicago Press 2013) is the best study of its kind: scholarly, entertaining, and comprehensive in its grasp of this wonderful subject. Baker seems infused with enthusiasm for the topic, lingering deliciously on such topics as early […]

Trying to Get Through the Pile….

My reading pile has grown exponentially larger over the past few months and unfortunately has stayed that way despite conscious and time-consuming effort. It looms over my bed and is starting to totter.  It sits on the right-hand corner of my desk and scowls at me. In the midst of it are three Wagner-related books:  Trippett’s Wagner’s […]

Wotan’s Eye: Was it Right, and What is Left?

The current issue of the invaluable Wagner Journal includes an article by Michael Trimble, Dale C. Hesdorffer and Robert Letellier on “The Mystery of Wotan’s Missing Eye.”  It reports on a study of production photographs concluding that, though the author never provided for instructions, nearly all actors playing Wotan portrayed a damaged left eye rather […]