Richard Wagner and Medieval Drama

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About the Book

Richard Wagner wanted to create miracles with his operas, in much the same way as medieval dramatists wanted to produce miracles on stage in the hopes of dazzling and converting an audience of pagans. The connections between Wagner and the dramatists of the Middle Ages run even deeper than this, and span the spectrum from explicitly, directly inspiring his works to more symbolic connections that describe the arc of his work’s intent.
This book will be the first to explain how Wagner’s operas were structured around the format of medieval theater. Medieval drama in both England and Germany was written and staged to convert pagans to Christianity. These plays always included some sort of miracle at the end to prove the superiority of the Christian religion. Even when criticizing Christianity, Wagner made use of this device, and this approach made Wagner’s operas uniquely fascinating and impressive. This book interrogates these connections, treading ground that is scarcely covered by other works of Wagner scholarship.

About the Author(s)

John Louis DiGaetani, professor emeritus of English at Hofstra University, is the author of numerous books about opera and theater.

Bibliographic Details

John Louis DiGaetani
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 55 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2024
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8983-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5470-6
Imprint: McFarland