Wagner Outside the Ring

Essays on the Operas, Their Performance and Their Connections with Other Arts

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About the Book

Designed as a companion volume to 2006’s Inside the Ring, which focused on the four operas comprising Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, this new volume features more than a dozen original essays focusing on all of Wagner’s non–Ring operas. Part One looks at the individual operas, including Der Fliegende Holländer, Tannhäuser, Lohengrin, Tristan und Isolde, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and Parsifal. Part Two reveals the connections between Wagnerian opera and other arts, including dance, filmmaking, and fiction. Finally, Part Three examines Wagner’s operas in performance, featuring interviews with mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung and heldentenor Ben Heppner, both well-known for their Wagnerian performances. The book includes many photographs from current productions by the Metropolitan Opera and other opera companies, along with bibliographies and a discography of recommended performances.

About the Author(s)

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

Bibliographic Details

Edited by John Louis DiGaetani
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 272
Bibliographic Info: 66 photos, notes, chronology, discography, videography, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3400-8
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5450-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii
Preface      1
Introduction      3
Brief Chronology      7

I. The Individual Operas
1. Tradition and the Individual Talent in Wagner’s Juvenilia
YVONNE NILGES      9
2. The Flying Dutchman: An Introduction
JAMES K. HOLMAN      23
3. Deciphering The Flying Dutchman
GREGORY KERSHNER      31
4. Revelation and Obfuscation: Wagner’s Readings in Romanticism for Tannhäuser
STEVEN R. CERF      40
5. Romanticism in Tannhäuser and Lohengrin
BARBARA JOSEPHINE GUENTHER      55
6. Don’t Ask: Faith, Magic, Knowledge, and Sources in Lohengrin
LISA FEURZEIG      80
7. Tristan and Ecstasy
HANS RUDOLF VAGET      105
8. Infomercial in Three Acts: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
NICHOLAS VAZSONYI      122
9. Relativities: Einstein, Wagner, and Die Meistersinger
JAMES K. HOLMAN      141
10      Musical Characterization in Parsifal: A Study of Parsifal and Kundry
JOHN J.H. MULLER      157

II. Wagnerian Opera and the Other Arts
11. Wagner and Dance: Tannhäuser and Beyond
MARY CARGILL      175
12. “The Dream Organ”: Wagner as a Proto-Filmmaker
HILAN WARSHAW      184
13. Wagnerian References in the Fiction of Willa Cather
RICHARD C. HARRIS      199

III. Wagnerian Opera in Performance
14. Michelle DeYoung: An Interview
JOHN LOUIS DIGAETANI      217
15. Ben Heppner: An Interview
JOHN LOUIS DIGAETANI      221
16. The Silver Age of Wagnerian Singing
BARBARA JOSEPHINE GUENTHER      227

A Manichean Conclusion
JOHN LOUIS DIGAETANI      251
Appendix: Discography and Videography of Recommended Performances      255
About the Contributors      259
Index      261