The almanac

UPI Almanac for Wednesday, May 22, 2013.
By United Press International

Wagner family letters could reveal Nazi ties

BERLIN, May 21 (UPI) -- The descendants of German composer Richard Wagner said they are releasing letters that could shed light on the family's connection to the Nazi regime.

Gold ring linked to Tolkien on display

BASINGSTOKE, England, April 3 (UPI) -- A large gold Roman ring found in central England in the 18th century that may have inspired J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" is now on display.

Lyric Opera performer recovering from facial burns after fire-spit stunt

CHICAGO, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- A Lyric Opera performer remains hospitalized with second-degree facial burns after attempting to spit fire during a rehearsal, the Chicago Tribune said.

Singer pulls out of opera over Nazi tattoo

BEYREUTH, Germany, July 22 (UPI) -- Russian singer Evgeny Nikitin has pulled out of an opera festival in Germany because of controversy over his swastika tattoo, festival organizers said.

The almanac

UPI Almanac for Tuesday, May 22, 2012.
By United Press International

Israeli opera shuns Wagner

TEL AVIV, Israel, April 8 (UPI) -- The director of the Israeli Opera says she has asked an English-based Israeli choreographer to excise a portion of a Wagner opera from her Tel Aviv show.

Israeli orchestra to perform Wagner

TEL AVIV, Israel, July 25 (UPI) -- The Israel Chamber Orchestra has been booked to perform music by Richard Wagner at Germany's Bayreuth Festival, organizers said.

Mistrial declared in Norbourg fraud case

MONTREAL, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- A judge in Montreal Tuesday declared a mistrial in the case of five defendants in the Norbourg fraud case.

Kittiwake birds avoid inbreeding

VIENNA, June 29 (UPI) -- An Austrian-led study has found the black-legged kittiwake bird, a monogamous species, has the ability to choose partners with a different genetic profile.

Opera nudity not embraced at Wagner fest

BAYREUTH, Germany, July 27 (UPI) -- Boos outpaced oohs at the nudity and plastic phalluses in the staging of Wagner's "Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg" opening night at a German festival.

Japanese conductor a hit at Wagner fest

BERLIN, July 26 (UPI) -- Japanese conductor Eiji Oue this week became the first Asian conductor at Germany's annual Bayreuth Music Festival, dedicated to the works of Richard Wagner.

Wagner Festival dogs shooed by Bayreuth

BAYREUTH, Germany, Aug. 10 (UPI) -- City officials have ordered the removal of plastic sculptures of a big black dog installed in the park surrounding the Bayreuth Festival theater.

Wilhelm Richard Wagner ( /ˈvɑːɡnər/; German pronunciation: ; 22 May 1813  – 13 February 1883) was a German composer, conductor, theatre director and essayist, primarily known for his operas (or "music dramas", as they were later called). Wagner's compositions, particularly those of his later period, are notable for their complex texture, rich harmonies and orchestration, and the elaborate use of leitmotifs: musical themes associated with individual characters, places, ideas or plot elements. Unlike most other opera composers, Wagner wrote both the music and libretto for every one of his stage works.

Initially establishing his reputation as a composer of works such as The Flying Dutchman and Tannhäuser which were in the romantic traditions of Weber and Meyerbeer, Wagner transformed operatic thought through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk ("total work of art"). This would achieve the synthesis of all the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts, and was announced in a series of essays between 1849 and 1852. Wagner realised this concept most fully in the first half of the monumental four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen. However, his thoughts on the relative importance of music and drama were to change again and he reintroduced some traditional operatic forms into his last few stage works including Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.

Wagner pioneered advances in musical language, such as extreme chromaticism and quickly shifting tonal centres, which greatly influenced the development of European classical music. His Tristan und Isolde is sometimes described as marking the start of modern music. Wagner's influence spread beyond music into philosophy, literature, the visual arts and theatre. He had his own opera house built, the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, which contained many novel design features. It was here that the Ring and Parsifal received their premieres and where his most important stage works continue to be performed today in an annual festival run by his descendants. Wagner's views on conducting were also highly influential. His extensive writings on music, drama and politics have all attracted extensive comment; in recent decades, especially where they have antisemitic content.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Richard Wagner."
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