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Subject: Re: AC's question about Solit
From: [log in to unmask]
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Sun, 29 Mar 2009 22:34:30 EDT

text/plain (59 lines)


Hi, Y'all!  
    I wholeheartedly agree that Wagner's own directions  and insights on the 
"Ring" and its performance are not only valuable, but  indispensable to a 
basic understanding of the cycle and to any creative  processes that could 
possibly lead to a competent interpretation or staging  thereof.  That said, I have a 
question--or, rather, questions.  
    To what degree are the "wishes" of a composer re  the interpretation 
and/or staging of his work holy writ?  Conductors and  directors of all stripes 
have given us "versions" of all sorts of operas that  are WIDELY considered to 
be highly competent but that have deliberately  violated--sometimes 
grossly--the expressed wishes of the composer.  All  sorts of directors have given us 
stagings of "Madama Butterfly" that  intentionally violate the expressed wishes 
of Puccini.  No one (except me,  apparently) thinks that Mascagni's slow tempi 
as recorded are truly right for  "Cav."  Opera houses throughout the world 
have staged "Dialogues of the  Carmelites" in French, contrary to Poulenc's 
stated intentions.  And as for  what Verdi might have thought of the Salzburg 
"Traviata," well, let's not go  there.  So what makes Wagner sacrosanct?  And if 
we're going to adhere  to Porges' written strictures on Wagner, don't we also 
have to forego all  performances of "Parsifal" except at Bayreuth, as per 
Wagner's clearcut  wish?  Let's not get caught up in the silly game of confusing 
insightful  guides with holy gospel.  
    Dennis Ryan 
In a message dated 3/29/2009 3:32:36 P.M. Central Daylight Time,  
[log in to unmask] writes:

"[N]o  conductor, no producer, no director, no singer, no scenic designer,  no
anyone ought to be permitted to have anything to do with a production of  the
_Ring_ before first committing to memory and total understanding what  Porges
records in this book, and then swearing a sacred oath to never, on  pain of
horrid mutilation and death, depart from what's there written,  remembering
that what Porges recorded were *Wagner's* directions and  insights on the
_Ring_ and its performance, not his  own."

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