Category Archives: Wagner

Illicit Love

Tweet Opera abounds in love duets. Here are three that define both their genre and their time. All three involve a man (a tenor, of course) in love, or in lust in the last example, with another man’s wife. Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera and Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde were written about the same time –…

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Siegfried in HD – Walking the Planks

Tweet Before going to a performance of Wagner’s third Ring Cycle opera you should wear comfortable shoes, loose clothing, and drink no fluids starting six hours before the curtain. Thus prepared I got through Siegfried without losing consciousnesses more than two or three times. In fact I enjoyed the performance. Robert Lapage’s Rube Goldberg set consisting of a couple of dozen planks driven…

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Das Rheingold in HD”>

Tweet On Saturday October 9 the Metropolitan Opera presented its first HD telecast of the 2010-11 season with its new production of Wagner’s Das Rheingold, the opera that opened the Met’s current season. Robert Lepage’s production which uses computerized projections, shifting platforms, and flashy lighting has attracted much attention. The set which is little more…

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The Ghost in the Machine – A Cautionary Tale

Tweet It all started a couple of years ago on a Saturday afternoon.  I turned on the radio to listen to the weekly Metropolitan Op­era broadcast, forgetting that Parsifal was scheduled. Being comfortably settled in a stuffed reclining chair, I was too lazy to turn the radio off.  Besides, nothing can put you to sleep…

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Anything But Wagner

Tweet The following was originally published at, but it’s no longer available there. I wrote it 5 years ago.  NK No great composer induces passion the way Richard Wagner does. Knowledgeable opera goers seem to be divided into warring camps, vigorously campaigning for and against the art of the egomaniac of Bayreuth. In 50…

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Parsifal Redux

Tweet Some years ago I wrote about my bout with Parsifal. I had become Parsifal positive. I was only exposed once. Most people can listen to Parsifal many times without becoming positive. What bad luck. After years of treatment I licked it and have been Parsifal negative for more than five years. Obviously, I am…

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