Wagner and the Art of the Theatre (Hardcover)

By Patrick Carnegy

Yale University Press, 9780300106954, 480pp.

Publication Date: December 1, 2006

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (9/10/2013)

List Price: 55.00*
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The production of Wagner’s operas is fiercely debated. In this groundbreaking stage history Patrick Carnegy vividly evokes the—often scandalous—great productions that have left their mark not only on our understanding of Wagner but on modern theatre as a whole. He examines the way in which Wagner himself staged his works, showing that the composer remained dissatisfied with even the best of his productions.
After Wagner’s death the scenic challenge was taken up by the Swiss visionary Adolphe Appia, by Gustav Mahler and Alfred Roller in Vienna, and by Otto Klemperer and Ewald Dülberg in Berlin. In Russia the Bolsheviks reinvented Wagner as a social revolutionary, while cinema left its indelible imprint on the Wagnerian stage with Eisenstein’s Die Walküre in Moscow in 1940.
Hitler famously appropriated Wagner for his own ends. Patrick Carnegy unscrambles the interaction of politics and stage production, describing how post-war German directors sought a way to bury the uncomfortable past. The book concludes with a critique of the iconoclastic interpretations by Patrice Chéreau, Ruth Berghaus, and Hans-Jürgen Syberberg.

About the Author

Formerly a music critic for the Times and dramaturg at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Patrick Carnegy has lectured, broadcast, and published widely on Wagner, opera, and the theatre.

Praise For Wagner and the Art of the Theatre

"It's rare that I fall in love with a book early in its Introduction, but Patrick Carnegy's Wagner and the Arts of the Theatre is such a work. . . . essential reading . . . one of the best performing arts books in recent memory."—William Fregosi, Wagner Notes

— William Fregosi

"One is immensely grateful for the vast territory that Patrick Carnegy charts. . . . Carnegy succeeds in keeping the focus on the theatre, in an exceptionally vivid yet realistic way. Opera production history has gained another benchmark study."—Katherine R. Syer, Music and Letters

— Katherine R. Syer