Wagner Notes

This is a Wagner newsletter, and I am writing about Strauss, but there is an important Wagner connection to Ariadne, perhaps less a connection than a push-back. Hofmannsthal and Strauss wanted to redefine a Gesamtkunstwerk for the 20th century, one where the divergent art forms work all and severally, eac0h component retaining its integrity.  Hofmannsthal’s criticism of Elektra (1909) was that his text was[...]

Susan Brodie
March 2022

Gallons of ink have been spilled in praise of the ravishing instrument that soprano Lise Davidsen brought to the opera world when she burst on the scene in 2015. It […]

Wagner’s only mature comic opera returned to the Met this season, in a six-performance revival of the Schenk/Schneider-Siemssen gorgeous storybook production, which premiered here in 1993. Pre-pandemic rumors held that […]

A gloomy town center surrounded by orderly but claustrophobic buildings. Violence seething under the surface of respectability. A boy whose mother committed suicide after being abused by a town’s businessman […]

F. Peter Phillips
August 2021

Forty years after reporting on my first visit to Bayreuth (see Wagner Notes Vol. IV No. 5, November 1981), this city in the time of Covid is, in many respects, […]