lundi 22 mars 2010

Wolfgang Wagner

Has passed away at the age of 90.

I would recommend to anyone the excellent book of Jonathan Carr: the Wagner Clan to be able to both appreciate Wolfgang Wagner positive and dark side. Whatever one can feel on his conservative stagings as well as on his overpowering grip on the Bayreuth Festival, his personality was larger than life, operatic and definitely Wagnerian.

How the Festival evolves will be an object of interest, the new family structure does not have its lease for life anymore and will have to prove its capacity. Singing standards have lowered in the recent past, allowing us to get better performances in many places such as New York, Berlin or even Paris (under the old régime of Gérard Mortier who tried to stage a coup in Bayreuth.) Rumors are that he secured the programs for many of the next seasons are already booked and "Wolfgang Wagner-approved".

But this would be without recognising that at its best, during the time he ran it, the Festival produced some of its most glorious performances.

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