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Views 2009

Bayreuth - A Personal History

Robert Lloyd

Although the History of the Bayreuth Festival is well known and extensively documented, I feel it is worth a brief reassessmenespecially in the light of Katharina Wagner's succession. It seems every member of this extraordinary dynasty has inherited at least one aspect of Richard Wagner's multi-faceted personality; and an almost desperate need to express his or her particular creative credentials.

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Review Of Winnie and Wolf by A.N. Wilson

Colleen Chesterman

In the Wagner Society newsletter this year there have been numerous apologies for delays in providing copy. This contribution should ease everyone's guilt. A. N. Wilson's novel Winnie and Wolf was published in 2007 and having read it in early 2008 I suggested to Terence Watson that it should be reviewed for our newsletter. A sensible man, he suggested I do it - and here at last is my review. I hope that many members of the Society have already read this book; if not I would like to recommend it for an original and lively introduction to the world of the Festspielhaus and the Wagner family.

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Postcards from Bayreuth 2009

This is our sixth visit (and Ring) to Bayreuth and, for the first time in twenty years some things have changed. The custodians of the doors have new outfits and they look great - and they now smile.. There is a proper coffee bar in the cafe! The programs are now all individual (not as good unfortunately), there is a Handy Bank out the back of the Festspielhaus and there are no further sightings of the grandson of the Master (this in a way is sad).

Monday 17 August 2009. Day 1 - Tristan and Isolde

Weather
Outside the Festspielhaus: unspeakably hot and humid
Inside the Festspielhaus: unspeakably hot and humid

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What was Eating Wagner?

How Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy's early death left 'underdog' Richard Wagner to wreak a bitter revenge'.

Under this provocative heading and with this challenging opening, Martin Geck has written a fascinating and stimulating essay to mark the Mendelssohn Bicentenary Year: 'As unlikely as it may sound, compared with Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, whose 200th birthday is being celebrated this year on February 3rd, Richard Wagner regarded himself as the underdog. This might help explain why, after Mendelssohn's early death in 1847, he wreaked bitter revenge, lashing out furiously at the little Jewish prince whenever he could.'

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Thoughts on Katherina Wagner's Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg

Below are two articles on Katherina Wagner's Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg by Robert Lloyd and Katie French.

I - Robert Lloyd's 'Baptism of Fire' - Remembering Neville Cardus's Heritage

After viewing the fascinating Documentary, Katherina Wagner's Baptism of Fire', was asked to contribute my thoughts to our excellent Wagner Society Newsletter. Tempted at first, I declined, feeling it would be unfair to make any value judgment until I had seen her entire Production. Had I done so, my opinion would have been quite un-printable. But time, a little distance and deep reflection, has allowed me to overcome any feeling of guilt or fairness. Ms Wagner's Fire certainly lit my Fuse! Going by 'All's Fair in Love, War and Wagner' principles, I have quashed any qualms of conscience I might have had.

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