Blugh Wagner!

17 Aug

Was happily reading another wonderfully vibrant Observer review by Fiona Maddocks till I reached for the comment below…remind us all of another semi-professional performance of a Wagner opera, amidst the 3000 complete Rings being performed around the world in anticipation of the anniversary in 2013 (the bicentenary of his birth). His megalomaniac music seems to be dominating the schedules of most major stages and many smaller ones. It is really funny how an anniversary can create an oversupply of a composer’s work to the point of swamping even the devoted fan. Numerous festivals will celebrate his gargantuan in proportions and self worth contribution to music…one of the funniest ads for such a festival comes courtesy of the city of  Leipzig…depicting Richard as the Woolworths super hero: available here

Hope The Royal Opera and the English National Opera will appropriately honour (closer to home too) the centenary from the birth of Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)  in 2013 or the bicentenary of the birth of Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) . Or how about marking the half century since the death of Francis Poulenc (1899-1963) ? Wagner’s works are some of the most performed in the operatic repertoire and I’m reaching a state of apoplexy with their frequent restagings.

Also interestingly in 2012 is the 50th anniversary from the death of  Manolis Kalomiris (1883–1962), I hope Greece is gearing up for a modest tribute, as he is the father of orchestral music in Modern Greece alongside the more European minded Nikos  Skalkottas, (1904–1949). Also the same anniversary applies to Hanns Eisler (1898–1962) a perfect opportunity for The Wigmore Hall to feature his compositions once more !

Somebody saves us from overstuffed anniversaries and bring on some imaginative programming! Or even better, someone pierce the Wagner bubble that has enveloped operatic life in the last 5-6 years. 

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