Is Wagner just a toy for the boys?

Spotted in the audience for Götterdämmerung at the end of the Mariinsky Ring cycle in Cardiff this week was Prince Charles. But interestingly his wife Camilla was not with him. Is Wagner just a toy for the boy's? Or had Camilla read the distinctly lukewarm reviews of a staging even Valery Gergiev's conducting couldn't transcend?

Now read about a boy with some really frightening toys in Wagner - I don't get to hear anything else

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I agree with Geoff Brown that the "only" things to remember about Gergiev's Ring are Gergiev's conducting, the Mariinsky orchestra and the soloists. I saw "Die Walküre" and "Götterdämmerung" in Petersburg (two years ago) and the staging was terrible; then the same production was shown at the Met in NY, for not very enthusiastic reviews, I suppose. I can't understand how come nobody has told Gergiev that he should trash the entire scenic part of the production.

By the way, Gergiev is partly responsible for the staging as well, not just for the music, so he bears some of the blame that the reviewer puts on the credited director and designer.
LaDonnaMobile said…
It's a rather silly article written by somebody who was going to Wagner for the first time. I have to admit that when I was at Gotterdammerung on Easter Monday it was slightly bizarre to walk straight into the Ladies past a queue for the Gents. I couldn't resist a chheky smile and "Afternoon chaps." I don't think that proves anything at all.

But I know lots of women who are Wagner fans, including one friend who did her Ph.D on him. And when I go I leave my fiancé at home.

I am not sure how he can possibly justify such a conclusion from Camilla Windsor, his wife and "I was told". This isn't serious researched journalism. This is just impressionistic feelings. Which is what I do on my blog, for my own amusement, but I'm amateur. I assume he's getting paid for that piece of fluff.

I think the guardian has decided that their target readership is a sneering superficial 25 year old with a pretend degree and working in meejah, and they gear most of their non hard news articles to that person, ignoring people who have been reading The Guardian for 25 years - or longer.

Alexander Chancellor writes that "Wagner's idea of love... doesn't seem to extend much beyond sexual passion. It is always love at first sight, and the music explodes on cue accordingly." This flat analysis may work perhaps for the Ring cycle (what about Siegmund and Sieglinde in "Die Walkure") but did he ever hear perhaps of a certain opera called "Tristan und Isolde"? Regardless of Freudian interpretations, that doesn't seem to be pure interest on sex between the two characters.

Other than that, I agree with the commentator above, the review on "The Guardian" is a rather silly article. And Chancellor manages also to insult the Welsh in a strange display of English supremacist belief, something that might have worked in Queen Victoria's times.

(Not being English, Welsh, nor British in general, I may be missing something in my criticism.)
proulx michel said…
Not any great fan of Wagner's but I remembre Scott Ross playing the Tristan und Isolde Liebestod on his harpsichord, which was great fun.

Beethoven (not any great fan either) was one of the lamest persons of renown of his age. Misogynist, mean, a perfect scrooge, tyrannic with his nephew (he sued his own sister to wrestle the kid from her), that does'nt make his music less interesting.
And if GW Bush has some liking for some music, whatever it is, should we deem it automatically despicable?

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